A Silenced Land of Empty Faces: Censorship and Narration in Edward Said’s After the Last Sky

Mauro Pala


In 1983 Edward Said, who was then serving as a consultant to the United Nations International Conference on the Question of Palestine suggested that photographs of Palestinians should be hung in the entrance to the main conference site in Geneva. The official response was that the photographs could be displayed, but with no caption or explanation. This form of censorship marks the beginning of After the Last Sky a book of pictures by the Swiss photographer Jean Mohr, commented and expanded by Said, who explores the ways and modes through which memory can, challenging censorship, interact with photographs and written texts, and thereby attempt to reconstruct a people’s past and current historical trajectory. The contribution also explores how Palestinians suffered censorship of their own experience through a systematic dispossession of territories, affiliations and, eventually, their identity as a national ethnic group, a brutal strategy of segregation against which Said’s philological approach provides a strong ethical argument.  


Exile; Censorship; Icolology; Photography; Segregation.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.13125/2039-6597/1842

NBN: http://nbn.depositolegale.it/urn%3Anbn%3Ait%3Aunica-16970

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