This website has been created to mark progress on my masters' thesis project at Georgetown University. It is a work-in-progress.
I first began collecting Palestine posters when I was a Peace Corps volunteer in Morocco in the mid-1970s. By 1980 I had acquired about 300 Palestine posters. A small grant awarded with the aid of the late Dr. Edward Said allowed me to organize them into an educational slideshow to further the "third goal" of the Peace Corps: to promote a better understanding of other peoples on the part of Americans. Over the ensuing years, while running my design company, Liberation Graphics, the number of internationally published Palestine posters I acquired steadily grew. Today the archives include some 3,000 Palestine posters from myriad sources making it what many library science specialists say is the largest such archives in the world.
The Palestine poster genre dates back to around 1900 and, incredibly, more Palestine posters are designed, printed and published today than ever before. Unlike most of the political art genres of the twentieth century such as those of revolutionary Cuba and the former Soviet Union, which have either died off been abandoned or become artifacts, the Palestine poster genre continues to evolve. Moreover, the emergence of the Internet has exponentially expanded the genreâ€™s network of creative contributors and amplified the public conversation about contemporary Palestine.
My research has two major components:
(1) the creation of a web-based archives to display all the Palestine posters in a searchable format with each poster translated and interpreted; and
(2) the development of a curriculum using the Palestine poster as a key resource for teaching the formative history of the Palestinian-Zionist conflict in American high schools. This aspect of my work is viewable in my New Curriculum
To facilitate my research I have arbitrarily broken the genre of the Palestine poster into four sources, or wellsprings. These wellsprings are:
1) Zionist and Israeli artists and agencies\r\n2) Palestinian nationalist artists and agencies
3) Arab and Muslim artists and agencies
4) International artists and agencies
For the purpose of this research project, the following definition of a â€œPalestineâ€ poster applies:
1) Any poster with the word â€œPalestineâ€ in it, in any language, from any source or time period;
2) Any poster created or published by any artist claiming Palestinian nationality;
3) Any poster published in the geographical territory of historic Palestine, at any point in history, including contemporary Israel;
4) Any poster published by any source which relates directly to the social, cultural, political, or economic structure of historic Palestine; and/or
5) Any poster that relates to the subjects of Zionism or anti-Zionism, from any source, after August, 1897.
The majority of posters in the archives are printed on paper. An increasing number of Palestine posters are created as \"computer generated images\" (CGI). Electronic, digitally created images included in this archives meet these requirements: they are capable of being downloaded and printed out at a size at least as large as 18â€ X 24â€ and they deal substantially with the subject of Palestine. Computer generated images will be identified as such.
I am uploading posters in what may appear to be a haphazard order; this seemingly random order is a reflection of the way in which the posters were originally collected, stored, and preserved on CDs. As time and funds permit, I will be uploading the entire archives.
I want to specifically thank the following people without whose assistance I would not have been able to even begin this research: Dr. Lena Jayyusi, for both her thorough critique of the New Curriculum as well as her steadfast moral support over many years; Dr. Rochelle Davis, my academic advisor at Georgetown who gave me the freedom to explore the questions of most interest to me all the while reinforcing the highest academic standards; Catherine Baker, who has provided creative, editorial and moral support of incalculable value to me and to whom I am forever indebted; Dr. Eric Zakim, the director of the Joseph and Alma Gildenhorn Institute for Israel Studies at the University of Maryland at College Park whose translations of the Hebrew text in the Zionist poster wellspring and whose breadth of knowledge of Zionist history and iconography proved indispensable; and Richard Reinhard whose early and complete review of the New Curriculum helped keep me on schedule and in focus. Special thanks are also due Jenna Beveridge, the Academic Program Coordinator at Georgetownâ€™s Center for Contemporary Arab Studies, without whose guidance through the halls of academia I would have been hopelessly lost.
There are, in addition, legions of people who over the years have encouraged me to persevere in this work. I will make it a point to thank them at regular intervals in the progress of this project.
Silver Spring, MD
'This website has been created to mark progress on my masters\' thesis project at Georgetown University. It is a work-in-progress.