Below is an introduction to a new project related to al-3awda. It can also be found in Arabic. arenaofspeculation.org has helped to establish this project and will post some of its features from time to time.
Today we launch #3awda. A collective project seeking to harness social media and focus a new creative energy towards return to Palestine.
The events of 15 May 2011, as thousands of Palestinians marched towards their sites of dispossession, re-asserted the possibility to envision al-3awda (‘the return’) as a concrete act in the present, and created a new space to imagine the future. At a time when a global Palestinian diaspora is rediscovering its many voices, and in the midst of a political awakening across the Arab world, this project seeks to harness a moment of possibility and to focus a new collective energy towards return.
The 3awda.org website offers a digital hub and creative forum for the sharing of ideas and actions towards realising Palestinian return. We call on activists, artists, creative professionals, community organisers and entrepreneurs to engage in initiatives towards return, partaking in a collective act of creative imagining, participation and production towards realising a new vision of the future.
In this space, we not only affirm the ‘right of return’, but also explore critically and proactively the ongoing spatial, political and demographic realities of today’s Palestine. How do we imagine return not only as a physical act in the present, but also as a political horizon of justice and dignity towards which to aspire? What would such a political space mean for those people who seek to build their future in this territory? And how might this in turn create a new relationship with the Arab world beyond?
We are an independent team of Palestinian and international activists from a range of backgrounds and disciplines, brought together by a shared belief in the importance of 3awda (‘return’), wherein all Palestinians have a choice to build a just future in their historic homeland. We believe in the power of creative imagining and seek to utilize the possibilities offered by new media to develop shared visions and a new collective energy towards 3awda.
This project begins with the hashtag #3awda, and is limited only by our collective capacity to imagine.