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Decolonizing Palestine: Conversations after the Unity Intifada

9 maart 2022 — 17 mei 2022
Organisator: VLIR-UOS

Interuniversity Lecture Caravan, realised with the support of VLIR-UOS within the Global Minds programme, will highlight connections, power structures and agency between Belgium and Palestine.


The purpose is via five sessions, five subjects & one shared theme to better understand the place of contemporary situations of occupation and social injustice. To better understand its resistance within larger worldmaking projects and the contemporary power dynamics of globalisation.

Session 2 - 22/04/2022

'Against the Infrastructure
of Colonial Capitalism'

Franklin Rooseveltlaan 50
1050 Brussel

Colonial occupation has been the driving engine behind a prolific and highly profitable defence industry for Israel and Israeli companies. For Israeli companies, the symbiotic and mutually beneficial relationship between private capital on the one hand, and the Israeli military apparatus on the other, serves as a lucrative opportunity to test their technologies and market them to customers worldwide. This partnership provides the basis for Israel’s infrastructure of occupation.

This lecture is organised by Jihane Sliti (RHEA - VUB) and Omar Jabary Salamanca (ULB), a VUB and ULB collaboration.

Riya Al'Sanah: Activist, member of the Palestinian feminist movement Tala'at, and research coordinator at Who Profits, a research center investigating private sector complicity in the Israeli occupation economy.

Session 3 - 03/05/2022

'Entangled Histories of Solidarity:
a cross-generational Examination of Palestinian Youth Organizing'

KU Leuven
Faculty of Social Sciences
Parkstraat 45
3000 Leuven

This lecture examines entangled histories of solidarity between Palestinian youth organisers and Third World, indigenous, anti-colonial and anti-ractist movements worldwide. It offers a cross-generational, comparative, and transnational analysis of Palestinian student and youth organizing, starting in the 1930's until the present day, to illustrate how youth movements have both informed and been effected by the broader trajectory of the Palestinian liberation movement.

This lecture is organised by prof. Karel Arnaut, KUL, Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology (KUL).

Loubna Qutami - Assistant Professor in the Department of Asian American Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles. Former President’s Postdoctoral Fellow from the Department of Ethnic Studies at the University of California, Berkeley (2018-2020) and received a PhD from the Department of Ethnic Studies at the University of California, Riverside (2018). Qutami’s research examines transnational Palestinian youth movements after the 1993 Oslo Accords through the 2011 Arab Uprisings.

Session 4 - 11/05/2022

'Labour Solidarities and the Question of anti-colonial Struggle'

Campus UFO - Technicum - Auditorium D
Sint-Pietersnieuwstraat 41
9000 Gent

On May 18 2021, hundreds of thousands of Palestinian citizens in Israel stopped work for the day, as did other Palestinians across the Occupied West Bank and in Gaza, in a general strike and a remarkable show of unity against Israel’s unfolding military campaign. Moreover, the international call for solidarity and to organise actions in support of the Palestinian general strike issued by Palestinian trade unions was answered massively by trade unions across the world. During this lecture, with important voices from the Palestinian and Belgian trade union movement, we discuss the role of labour and trade union organising in a settler colonial context.

This lecture is organised by Fayrouz Yousfi, Sigrid Vertommen and Koenraad Bogaert, UGENT, the department of Conflict and Development Studies in collaboration with ACOD UGENT.

Jamal Juma: Executive Committee Member of the Palestine New Federation of Trade Unions and Secretariat Member of the Boycott National Committee (BNC)

Rafeef Ziadah: Palestinian human rights activist, lecturer in Middle Eastern Politics at SOAS, University of London, and member of the University and College Union (UCU).

Session 5 - 17/05/2022

'Creating Spaces for anti-colonial Solidarity'

Institute of Development Policy
Chapel and surrounding spaces
Lange Sint-Annastraat 7
2000 Antwerpen

In this closing event of the Palestine Lecture Caravan, the ongoing colonisation of Palestine is linked with past and present European colonisation. This event suggests that to decolonise our minds, bodies and institutions in Belgium, we need to examine how European colonialism continues to impact our everyday lives: from Congo to South Africa, from Belgium to occupied Palestine, the wealth and wellbeing which we lay upon are in direct relation to a violent past and present of (neo)colonial logics and practices.

This lecture is organised by the UAntwerp Palestine Solidarity Collective.