16-18 October 2019

Leiden University Library, Vossius room


Download the full program here:


Public Event 1:

16 October 2019 – 6 PM

by Dr. Salim Tamari

Flanneurism, Spectacle and Modernity in the Photographic Albums of Wasif Jawhariyyeh


This lecture by Prof dr. Salim Tamari (Birzeit University) will look at the life and photographic collections of the enigmatic Wasif Jawhariyyeh.


Wasif Jawhariyyeh recomposed his memoirs in the early 1960s, when he was in his sixties, on the basis of his notebooks, and on notes and captions inscribed into his photographic collection which goes back to the beginning of the century. A picture of Wasif taken in the late fifties shows the man on his sixtieth birthday, lying on garden lawn in a silk abbayeh near the Beirut corniche with a mixed look of boredom and nostalgia. An aging dandy and traumatized flaneur.  In our case, it so happens that Wasif and many of his associate musicians were both vagabonds and wanderers.  In this examination of patronage and the photographic image I will focus on Wasif’s obsession with the modernity of Jerusalem at turn of the century through a series of spectacles that he documented in his photographic albums.

Public Event 2:

16 October 2019 – 7 PM

Orienting the Tour


‘Orienting the Tour’ with Sarah Irving (Leiden University) will look at Stephan Hanna Stephan’s English travel guides of Palestine produced in the 1940s that were predominantly marketed to British and Commonwealth troops on leave. This lecture will consider Palestinian attempts to ‘write back’ against orientalist depictions.

Public Event 3:

17 October 2019 – 17:30

Panel moderated by Mark R. Westmoreland

Panel: This Transnational Paradise


British Mandate Palestine (1918-1948) was the nexus of many networks.  Likewise, photography, a medium designed to be reproduced and circulated, continues to circulate through many networks and through its circulation acquires new meanings.  This Transnational Paradise re-examines the possibilities of recouping the past through the study of photography.  It considers the optimism of state and institution building so fundamental to the period, grappling with networks implicitly embedded in such enterprises.  It also attempts to contextualise them within a broader transnational narrative that better explains the complex social milieu in Mandate Palestine.

What can photographs tell us of the British Mandate as site of connection and interconnection?How has the meaning of photographs taken in the period shifted?  And what possibilities do they present for recouping the past or indeed the future?

This roundtable discussion with

  • Özge Calafato (University of Amsterdam & Akkasah Centre for Photography, NYU Abu Dabhi)
  • Yazan Kopty (independent researcher)
  • Prof dr. Stephen Sheehi (William and Mary College)
  • dr. Sary Zananiri (Leiden University)
  • Moderated by Mark Westmoreland (Leiden University)

looked at photography and photographic circulation in British Mandate Palestine.

Public Event 4:

18 October 2019 – 11-12:30pm

Hensius Room, Leiden University Library

A rare public viewing of the Frank Scholten collection


Scholten was a Dutch photographer who travelled through Palestine from 1921-23. His extensive collection of photos numbers upwards of 20,000 images, very few of which have been publicly seen. The collection sheds light of the changes in Palestinian society as the British Mandate was beginning. The work documents the shifts in Ottoman communalism, modernity, urban-rural divides and Palestine’s queer culture.