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In the Wake of the Poetic: Palestinian Artists After Darwish | Najat Rahman | Syracuse University Press



In Steve Sabella’s haunting work In Exile, images recurrently depict a somber but meticulously constructed exile. Each image seems to repeat and proliferate images of houses or apartments, as if they are settlements or homes artificially constructed and imposed. The images are imbued with the dark colors blue and gray, brown and black, as we see in the image In Exile 1. In In Exile 2 spaces are surrounded with barbed wired. As Sabella once proclaimed, “I stitch my wounds with barbed wire.” The “reconstitution” of self is paradoxically one of violent suturing that has not been able to rid reality of barbed wires, at home or in exile, but remains liberatory. With light emanating from the inside of these interiors at night, the images are not without a sense of hope. Despite the dark gray, blue, and black, the flitter of interior light suggests movement nonetheless, perhaps a breakthrough from all limitations.



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