Author Archives: Diana Allan

About Diana Allan

Anthropologist and filmmaker at the Harvard Society of Fellows. She is the creator of the Nakba Archive and Lens on Lebanon. Her films have screened in international film festivals and as gallery installations, and her articles have appeared in the Journal of Oral History, Quaderni Storici, the Journal of Palestine Studies, Cairo Papers in Social Science, ArteEast, and in edited volumes. Her forthcoming book Refugees of the Revolution: Experiences of Palestinian Exile (2013) explores the contingencies of nationalism and everyday survival in Shatila camp.

Commemorative Economies and the Politics of Solidarity in Shatila Camp

This article examines the politics of Nakba commemoration in a Palestinian refugee camp in Lebanon and the instrumentalization of memories of the 1948 expulsion by NGOs and factions. It considers the role eyewitness accounts of the 1948 expulsion play in the production of Palestinian nationalism in exile, as well as the transformations occurring in the way younger generations relate to this critical event. It suggests that Palestine studies may have overemphasized the conceptual potency of nationalist narratives of the Nakba, and that their discursive prominence today more often reflects their role in securing local and international visibility, patronage, and resources than their continuing power to infuse the present and future with meaning for the refugees themselves.