An Abridged Draft for a Letter to Leila Khaled

2 min excerpt

The Palmach Aerial Photographs Collection includes more than 600 images, taken by the Zionist Paramilitary organization during the 1947-1948 civil war in Palestine. While the collection was created on an aerial reconnaissance effort, today it provides rare documentation of Palestinian landscape, depicted on the verge of its imminent erasure. The collection is stored within three archives in Israel, yet it is largely inaccessible for viewing, especially for Palestinians.

An Abridged Draft for a Letter to Leila Khaled reconstructs the landscape of Palestine before the Nakba, as it is depicted in the Palmach Aerial Photographs Collection. It uses a flight simulator to create a flight tour of the reconstructed collection, superimposing it on the satellite views of modern Israel.

The work was finalized as a response to the censoring of Leila Khaled from a virtual conference held by the San Francisco State University in September 2020. Ms. Khaled's participation was canceled by Zoom in response to pressure mounted on the company by Jewish Pro-Zionist organizations. Ms. Khaled's censoring is an extension of the limitation of travel she’s been experiencing for the last few decades.

The video work serves as a letter to Ms. Khaled, an invitation to pilot the virtual flight tour, in order to challenge the limitation on communication, vision, and travel being placed on Ms. Khaled. Communication with Ms. Khaled over the work has been initiated and awaiting progress.