Invited to Witness: Solidarity Tourism across Occupied Palestine
In Invited to Witness, Jennifer Lynn Kelly explores the significance of contemporary solidarity tourism across Occupied Palestine. Examining the relationships among race, colonialism, and movement-building in spaces where tourism and military occupation operate in tandem, Kelly argues that solidarity tourism in Palestine functions as both political strategy and emergent industry. She draws from fieldwork on solidarity tours in Palestine/Israel and interviews with guides, organizers, community members, and tourists, asking what happens when tourism is marketed as activism and when anticolonial work functions through tourism. Palestinian organizers, she demonstrates, have refashioned the conventions of tourism by extending invitations to tourists to witness Palestinian resistance and the effects of Israeli state practice on Palestinian land and lives. In so doing, Kelly shows how Palestinian guides and organizers wrest from Israeli control the capacity to invite and the permission to narrate both their oppression and their liberation.
"This book offers deep insights into the Palestinian memories of loss, and the cultural boundaries between insiders and outsiders. . . . The author succeeds in using a variety of materials (interviews, films, history, literature, etc.), mobilizing different tools of cultural studies to reveal the impasses of telling the past and the present of Palestine."―Abdessamad Belhaj, Social Identities
"Kelly makes a major contribution to the study of so-called solidarity tourism in Palestine, exploring its well-researched effect on national identity, lived experience, political strategy, and economic influence throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territories. . . . Highly recommended. Advanced undergraduates through faculty."
―B. Osborne, Choice
"A guide to how non-Palestinian researchers can conduct research that neither essentializes or erases Palestinian knowledge and experience. … Kelly's book is a welcome addition to the literature on global phenomenon in Palestine." ―Charles Finn, Postcolonial Interventions"[Kelly's book] will inspire students to examine the past and benevolently imagine the future unflinchingly."―Lynne Rogers, Al Jadid
"Kelly’s Invited to Witness is ripe with Palestinian moments that speak of the intricacy, beauty, and courage embedded in our ways of being and doing things. . . . the most illuminating aspect of Kelly’s book becomes what she herself represents in her study: a cultural translator, a US citizen writing to other 'Americans' about the responsibility involved in visiting and writing about Palestine. You cannot just witness it—you have to actively pursue its liberation and reflect it in your actions, scholarship, and your intentional conversations with others." ―Eman Ghanayem, Public Books
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