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Home al-Majdal Diana K. Allan
Diana K. Allan

Diana K. Allan

Diana K. Allan is the Co-director of The Nakba Archive and the director of Lens on Lebanon, a grassroots media collective funded by the Soros Foundation which is documenting the long-term effects of the 2006 conflict with Israel. She is the producer of the documentaries Chatila, Beirut (2002) and is currently working on a book project, Photo48, while completing a doctorate in anthropology and film at Harvard University. Her publications include “Mythologizing al-Nakba: Narratives, Collective Identity and Cultural Practice among Palestinian refugees in Lebanon” Oral History 33(1) (Spring 2005:47-56), “Photo48: Looking at Palestine” Bidoun, September 2005 and “The Politics of Witness,” in Lila Abu Lughod and Ahmad Sa’di (ed.) Faultlines of Memory.

Duplicate sets of the Nakba Archive (a collection of 1100 DVDs with accompanying database) and “The Nakba Archive Documentary” are now available for purchase. All proceeds go to the costs of continuing the work of the archive in Syria. See: and For further information please contact Diana: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

While Palestinian identity was not created by the 1948 displacement, the event has remained an important part of Palestinian history and collective experience, marking the loss of Palestine as a physical entity and its birth as a national signifier. In a recent article, Palestinian historian Elias Sanbar writes: “The contemporary history of Palestinians turns on a key date: 1948. That year, a country and its people disappeared from both maps and dictionaries.”1 Sanbar goes on to foreground the importance of cataloguing these disappearances as a means of creating a cultural and historical inventory of relation to pre-1948 Palestine.

Since many refugees from the generation of 1948 were illiterate few memoirs or journals exist and oral transmission has been the primary means by which this cultural heritage has been preserved.

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