Our Past, Our Future: Palestinian exhibition in Venice exposes truth about Nakba and envisions Palestine to come

From Palestine: Our Past, Our Future
2 min read
10 August, 2023
Archiving and re-imagining Palestine helps ensure reality is not lost to memory. Palestine Museum US's new exhibition 'From Palestine: Our Past, Our Future' uses a myriad of methods to remind us how Palestine was stolen and how it can be returned.

Although Nakba Day has come and gone, Palestinians all over the world will always ensure their history is never erased.

To commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Palestinian Nakba, the Palestinian Museum US is hosting an architectural exhibit in Venice, Italy, through November 23, with a wonderful celebration of Palestinian history, culture, and art.

"While the trials and tribulations of Palestinians have made headlines for decades, they often obscure, rewrite, or entirely erase the truth about Palestinian existence"

From Palestine: Our Past, Our Future is an exhibit at the European Cultural Centre in the heart of Venice, that combines artwork, photographs, maps, and virtual reality to teach visitors about the history of the Palestinian Nakba (the Arabic word for catastrophe), an event that violently displaced hundreds of thousands of Palestinians from their home that began on May 15, 1948, and has continued to this day. 

From Palestine: Our Past, Our Future
"'Our Past, Our Future' helps expose information about lost Palestinian towns and reimagines a future where descendants return to reimagined architecture and communities [photo credit: Palestine Museum US]

While the trials and tribulations of Palestinians have made headlines for decades, they often obscure, rewrite, or entirely erase the truth about Palestinian existence. The Palestine Museum US aims to change this pattern, by not only showcasing forgotten parts of Palestinian history but also envisioning a better future. 

The exhibit is an impressive collection of original art pieces and architectural renderings, which reimagine a future where descendants of the original population return to redesigned architecture, and urban planned communities, giving hope in the face of indefinite intractable odds. 

From Palestine: Our Past, Our Future
Artworks borrow themes from Palestinian history as well as more futuristic visions of a Palestine to come [Palestine Museum US]

And in a first-of-its-kind rendering, visitors can watch history unfold in a video that visually showcases how Palestinian towns were literally wiped off the map since the Nakba began.

After years of Israel attempting to erase its violent settler-colonialism history, its exhibits like this that help Palestinians retain their history and pass it to future generations, while also simultaneously educating the masses about a subject that far too many people know much about.

While the exhibit will remain open through November 26, those who are unable to head to Venice to see it in person can attend virtually, and also download the exhibit’s digital booklet to learn more about the curators and artists who participated. And if you’re in the US, be sure to check out the Palestine Museum US in Woodbridge, Connecticut or visit their website to learn more.

Tariq Raouf is a Palestinian-American Muslim writer, based in Seattle. 

Follow them on Twitter: @tariq_raouf