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The Christian Palestinian Archive (CPA)
The Christian Palestinian Archive (CPA) is a growing collection of archival photographs from the first half of the 20th century, documenting the personal histories of Palestinian communities worldwide and their displacement from home. The Archive was founded by Guez's studio in 2006 with a collection of family photographs and documents found in shoe boxes stored under Guez's grandparents' bed.
Following a process of storage and preservation, the community in which the artist grew up began sending Guez images from other family albums in Lydda, Yaffa, Jerusalem, Gaza, Amman, and other cities and villages. Soon, the collection of photographs grew and now includes tens of thousands of documents and photographs.
The CPA is an ongoing community project that has been built by individuals. A large part of the archive includes documentation of family events, to which a photographer was specially invited, such as engagements, weddings, festivals, and holidays. The archive also includes scans of postcards, professional studio photographs, passport photographs, maps, and more. However, unlike state or institutional archives, the CPA is not based on just the film of professional photographers only, but also includes a wide range of "amateur" photographers as well.
The project emphasizes the importance of representations of images in two parallel practices: aesthetical and historical. The first is the arrangement of the ingredients in the scanned material- the visual content of the image which the original photographer wanted to point at. The second is the material qualities of the original photograph, its surface, texture, etc. The CPA presents the historic photograph not only as an image but also as an object.
The meaning of the term Scanograms is literally drawing with a scanner machine. Every Scanogram is made by three different scanners and multiply scanning, each scanner machine is programmed to feature a different aspect of the material, and then Guez composes the layers into one image. These fifteen scanograms, dating from 1938-1958, portray the story of Guez’s grandmother, Samira Munayer, and her siblings. Each of the images documents an important event in their lives while they were together before Samira's family was exiled from Jaffa and dispersed to Lydda, Amman, Cyprus, Cairo, and London. One of these works depict Samira's wedding in the Lod Ghetto in 1949, one year after the war.
Series of manipulated readymades, 60x75 cm each, 2010.
"Scanograms # 2", September 2011, is based on historical documents; Pages from Passports of Mandatory Palestine. According to the seals of the border crossings, it is clear that freedom of movement existed throughout various countries in the Middle East until the 1948 war. The series was first presented at the 12th Istanbul Biennale.
Series of manipulated readymades, 60x75x75 cm each, 2010.
Families from the Palestinian diaspora around the world are invited to participate in the archive. Please contact us at:
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