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Jumana Manna

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“Scarecrows” is a visual essay by artist Jumana Manna. Here, Manna images daily acts of defiance by Palestinians foraging wild plants for food and medicine; something their survival had depended on for centuries. These humble resistances take place in the face of the legal prohibitions imposed by the State of Israel. The thinly veiled imperialist and racist laws, disguised as preservation decrees protecting plants and other species, are aimed, de facto, against the very possibility of people sustaining their lives on their own lands. “Lands that, in many cases,” Manna stresses, “have been expropriated by the Israeli state and are administered as Israeli settlements, nature reserves, military training areas, and other forms of ‘state land.’” The state here, indeed, continues usurping the power to decide “what is made extinct and what gets to live on; about who gets to decide the fate of these foraging traditions and the options that remain for those who don‘t.”

This visual essay “Scarecrows” by Jumana Manna appears in Propositions for Non-Fascist Living: Tentative and Urgent, Maria Hlavajova and Wietske Maas, eds. (Utrecht: BAK, basis voor actuele kunst and Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2019, pp. 97-112), the first volume of BAK’s BASICS series, available here via MIT Press

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