Ahlam Shibli’s Phantom Home is a tribute to the immersion of the Palestinians in the constant denial of their individual and collective existence by the Israeli regime – in fact it is a tribute to the Palestinian death and it’s omnipresence in Palestinian everyday life. At the same time, it is also one of the best photographic tributes to commemorative photography. Central part of the book consists of Shibli’s photographs from the series Death (2011-2012) which are a consistent photographic documentation of the memorial portraits of martyrs from Nablus (especially those from the second intifada 2000 – 2005). The portraits show images of martyrs on posters and graffiti around the Nablus neighbourhoods, framed photographs which are held by speakers on political manifestations and funeral services, blown-up portraits on tombstones, and lastly also images, photographs, letters and diaries arranged on the memorial altars and walls of their homes. These are memorial images of all absent from the society (dead, imprisoned or exiled) which have taken a new life in the collective representation of the Palestinian death, or we could also say – representation of collective Palestinian death.
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