The story behind 'Samira' is a starting point for Guez’s artwork and the Christian-Palestinian Archive project (CPA). Guez founded the CPA in 2006 after discovering a suitcase filled with old photographs and documents at his grandparent’s home in Lod. His family’s photographs were the first pillar of the archive. Today the CPA is an independent entity containing thousands of digital images from Christian-Palestinians across the world. The CPA gathers photographs through open calls.
'Samira' tells the story of Dor Guez's grandmother, Samira Monayer, using archival materials from between 1938 and 1958 and manipulated to become what the artist calls “scanograms.” Each image documents significant events before the family was expelled from Jaffa, forced to relocate to Lod, Amman, Cyprus, Cairo, and London. Two of the scanograms depict Samira’s wedding in Lod’s ghetto, 1949. It was the first Palestinian wedding after the Palestinian exodus from land claimed by Israel (known as al-Nakba, “the catastrophe”).
Alongside 'Samira' in the exhibition is a studio photograph of Jacob, Samira’s future husband, in Tel Aviv, 1942. Jacob is depicted in a highly stylised fashion that was the trend at the time. He wears American styled clothes and the set presents a fantasy scene, signalling the beginning of the erosion of Palestinian culture.
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