Mapping Palestine/Israel through Interactive Documentary
Keywords: 
Digital surveillance
documentary
historiography
interactive media
Israel
maps
mobile media
Palestine
Abstract: 

Available on publicly accessible websites, interactive documentaries are typically free to use, allowing audiences to navigate through amounts of information too large for standard film or television documentaries. Media literacy, however, is needed to understand the ways that interactive documentaries reveal or conceal their power to narrate. Examining ARTE France’s Gaza Sderot (2008–9), Zochrot’s iNakba (2014), and Dorit Naaman’s Jerusalem, We Are Here (2016), this article discusses documentaries that prompt audiences to reflect upon asymmetries in the power to forget history and the responsibility to remember it by mapping Palestinian geographies that have been rendered invisible. Since media ecologies are increasingly militarized, particularly in Palestine/Israel, interactive documentaries like iNakba and Jerusalem, We Are Here can disrupt Israeli state branding as technologically innovative while minimizing risk of surveillance by avoiding the use of location-aware technologies that transform interaction into tracking.

Author biography: 

Dale Hudson is an associate professor in the Film and New Media program at New York University Abu Dhabi, where his teaching focuses on film and digital media that connect the Middle East, North Africa, and South Asia. He is the author of Vampires, Race, and Transnational Hollywoods (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2017) and coauthor of Thinking through Digital Media: Transnational Environments and Locative Places (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015). He is also digital media curator for the Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival and coordinator of Films from the Gulf at the Middle East Studies Association Film Festival.

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