For the project Where We Come From, Emily Jacir posed a seemingly simple question to Palestinians around the world. “If I could do something for you, anywhere in Palestine, what would it be?” Jacir then used the relative freedom of movement allowed by her American passport to fulfill and document the requests. The tasks are largely simple, everyday activities, from visiting family in Gaza to walking the streets of Nazareth. The requests and their outcome (some were impossible to fulfill) are documented in text panels, photographs and video.

Jacir’s work crosses disciplines and harnesses techniques from conceptual and performance art practices to investigate bureaucracies of control and identity. Her role as surrogate only emphasizes the restrictions that prevent most Palestinians from carrying out these ordinary tasks.

The exhibition was on display June 12, 2003 – November 9, 2003.

Emily Jacir: Belongings
Martin Strum, Emily Jacir and Edward Said
An overview of Where We Come From, along with Jacir’s other work, an interview with the artist and essays by Edward Said and Martin Strum.

I Saw Ramallah
Maroud Barghouti
The first narrative work of the celebrated Palestinian Poet, the book focuses on one characters journey away from his home and then back to it.

Palestinian Refugees: The Right of Return
Naseer Aruri ed.
Collection of essays covering a range of issues related to Palestinian refugees, including history, international law, European and American opinion and Israeli perception.

After the Last Sky: Palestinian Lives
Edward Said, photographs by Jean Mohr
A portrait of life in Occupied Palestine, with photographs taken in the late 1970′s and Said’s memories of the disruption and violence from his childhood.

The Politics of Dispossession:
The Struggle for Palestinian Self-Determination 1969-1994
Edward Said
Collection of Said’s essays on Middle Eastern politics and history, shaping an indepth analysis to counter common misconceptions and shallow stereotypes.

Desire in Diaspora: Emily Jacir
TJ Demos
Art Journal Winter 2003

Memories in Exile
Chiara Gelardin
Museo 6 Spring 2003

Exhibiting Politics
Jenny Gaith
Electronic Intifada

Where We Come From
Debs and Co. Gallery

Emily Jacir: Accumulations
Alexander and Bonin Gallery

The following films were screened in conjunction with the exhibition.

Checkpoint 1997
Tom Wright and Therese Saliba
Presents a critical examination of the Oslo Accords and the events during the years that followed.

Edward Said: The Myth of ‘The Clash of Civilizations’
Sut Jally 1998
Said argues against collapsing complex groups into simplistic abstractions and argues instead for the “coexistence of difference”.

Chronicle of a Disappearance
Elia Suleiman 1996
Suleiman’s return to his birthplace spurs a reflection on the impact of political instability on Palestinian identity.

Collecting Stories from Exile: Chicago Palestinians Remember 1948
Jennifer Bing- Canar 1999
This study in oral history combines the experiences and stories of exiled Palestinians to document the collective nature of history.

Edward Said: The Myth of ‘The Clash of Civilizations’
Sut Jally 1998
Said argues against collapsing complex groups into simplistic abstractions and argues instead for the “coexistence of difference”.

Frontiers of Dreams and Fears
Follows the story of two Palestinian girls growing up in refugee camps who become friends by mail and finally meet at the border during the Israeli withdrawal from South Lebanon.

Introduction to the End of an Argument
Deconstructs perceptions of the Palestinian Intifada through examining common cultural depictions of the Middle East in film, television and network news.

Jenin Jenin
Documents the aftermath of the 2002 ’Defensive Wall Operation’ that left Jenin flattened and includes testimony from surviving residents.

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