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Biography

Omar Abdelqader is an activist, producer, and academic researcher. He was awarded his BFA from the Photography Department at Bezalel Academy of Art and Design, Jerusalem, and his MA from the Sociology, and Media, Communications and Cultural Studies departments at Goldsmiths, University of London (with Distinction). 

Based at the Sarah Parker Remond Centre for the Study of Racism and Racialisation, UCL, he is currently researching the discrepancies that arise of Indigenous involvement with settler-colonial state apparatuses, namely in the arena of knowledge production, through examining the Palestinian Territories Occupied in 1948. He was awarded an AHRC studentship to pursue his research through the London Arts and Humanities Partnership (LAHP).

Research Summary

This research explores the potential and limitations of Palestinian media and cultural production to impact political discourse as it pertains to the question of liberation.

The recent proliferation of Palestinians in Israeli communication outlets and entertainment continues to raise questions as to the efficacy, and indeed legitimacy, of involvement with state-sponsored initiatives. Proponents of this involvement have celebrated the disruptive potential Other(ed) representations hold vis-à-vis hegemonic, nationalist, and racist discourses. More polemical accounts argue that these representations are co-opted by neocolonial forces that exploitatively subsume ‘difference’ to whitewash colonialist agendas. Yet, this debate predominantly circulates within the postcolonial realm, overlooking the complexities faced by, and aspirations of Indigenous societies in settler-colonial states. Taking the unique situation of Palestinians generally, and those in the territories occupied in 1948 particularly, this research will investigate how, and to what extent, can media and cultural practitioners influence political discourse in the context of the struggle for self-determination, within and without the Israeli industries. 

By painting a nuanced, encompassing picture of the way symbolic meaning is negotiated, disseminated and consumed in the contestation and reproduction of colonial discourses, the project aims to fill a gap at the intersection of Palestinian studies, Indigenous studies, media and communications, cultural studies, critical race theory and post/anticolonial theory, and substantiate part of an ongoing discussion on the involvement of Indigenous societies with settler-colonial states.

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