The Jerusalem Show VI


Jumana Emil Abboud 

Eye of the Tiger

​‘Abwein and Hajja

Msakhan, Kullaj, Mkhamar Roasted potatoes spread oil butter warm Filfil wabassal wa zeit Shushbarak Hatha el-Khubz, Hatha el-Khubz This bread, tabboun. Millstone millstone, grind and pound bring your mortar and pestle don’t leave it behind Make it fine make it fine, for your sister your brother your father and neighbor and me Abdallah Hassan Hamdan Hang it fawq el bab And above the door tame it Red dye purify The rooster cries, They sold a lot of land my-oh-my Remember Kunna ennashef el bamieh Okra Dried a necklace around your throat worn and worn away, Feed your ancestors; come with sheep, chicken and lamb, Come with poison and antidote (the poison is in the date skin, and in the girl’s touch). Did you bleach the bread, Ka-halty el qamar wa naqashty? So many times it happens too fast You trade your passion for glory Don’t lose your grip On the dreams of the past You must fight just to keep them alive Eye of the tiger, eye of the tiger, eye of the tiger Melt drop pupil dilute amber pigment – stain your rooftops, Pin your heart to where it won’t leave you. “Eye of the Tiger” follows the artist’s keen interest in Palestinian folklore and ritual; oral histories that narrate a time and spirit scarcely present today. Researching instruments of ritual that embrace traditional local recipes collected from the women of the village of ‘Abwein; the practice of particular ancient customs; the folklore of poisons and antidotes; in addition to the gesture of sound and its potential to be used in play and in war. Thus, the gestures being played at reflect taste (sweet or bitter, for body or spirit) and sound (siren or cradlesong). The artist attempts to bring these together as is similar in gatherings of a celebratory or mournful nature, where both food and music are offered as remedies to the loves and pains of being. The project comprises installation work and a performance commissioned for Gestures in Time and supported by the European Union. With special thanks to Um Merwan and Shahd Majid.

Jumana Emil Abboud uses drawing, video, performance, objects and text to navigate themes of memory, loss and resilience. She poses questions related to memory as read through the body, through folklores and folktales, through home and homeland, and through cultural ritual or practice. How is history (personal and collective) told and retold and how does it affect or impose on one’s present time/life? How do we remember and how does memory fragmentation leave its imprints? Jumana’s interests also lie in storytelling practices, as they are associated for example with folklore, myths, icons and archetypes, as well as in language, both as a visual and textual tool, and the reading and re-reading of it. In this way, her work consistently reflects a Palestinian cultural landscape in which the struggle for continuity amid the wider political context necessitates a constant process of metamorphosis and ingenuity. She lives and works in Jerusalem.

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