June 16, 2008

Johannes Paul Raether: Pali-Nation

Filed under: Multilingualism / Territories / Migration — @ 09:51






For his project Pali-Nation, Johannes Paul Raether visited shopping areas of five German cities. He asked every person who wore a scarf in the design of an arab keffiyeh
for a picture. When clicking on one of the banners above, you will see the resulting photographs, mixed with black or white fields. A black field stands for a person that didn’t want to be photographed, a white field indicates a person, that was seen in the street, but could not be asked.

What do the individuals wearing this scarf in the streets have in common? A friend of mine tried to explain to his 10-year-old daughter the history of the scarf being a symbol for the palestinian national liberation movement. “Papa, I don’t care, I just want to wear it, I’m an emo.”
The last peak in occurence of the keffiyeh in Germany must have been in the eighties – so what happens now might in fact be a phenomenon of retro fashion. Which means that the actuality of the struggle in the middle east is overwritten by the history of its signs in the west. Does this have anything to do with “contextual translation”, as Rada Ivekovic put it in her text on this forum?



  1. I have noticed classic garments always stay in style. Fashion brings out whatever emotion you are feeling inside. Whatever you are feeling, have fun with it and remember not to take yourself so serious. Don’t let someone predict who you are!

    [Approved spam; R.S.]

    Comment by retro fashion — August 27, 2008 @ 18:28

  2. I do accept this scarf as a fashion statement. However, as a political statement it stands for the glorification of Palestinian terror against Israel and Arab Islamic anti-Semitism as a whole. I wish youngsters would better see what is true, and what is hate-propaganda, understand what is democracy and fundamentalist reign of terror, and then act correspondingly.

    Comment by N.N. — December 18, 2008 @ 15:33

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