Law and Art as Agents of Change in Palestine
Photo by Rowan Griffiths
This talk will draw on the personal experiences of the lawyer and writer, Selma Dabbagh in working for human rights organisations, in the field of international criminal law and as a writer of fiction. The talk will consider the approaches of human rights non-governmental organisations and lawyers as well as the medium of literature (and art in general) in enhancing understanding of the Middle East in the West. Reference will be made to Selma’s novel, Out of It (Bloomsbury, 2012), set between Gaza, London and the Gulf and to her forthcoming anthology We Wrote In Symbols; Love and Lust by Arab Women Writers, (Saqi, 2021) which includes writing by women from the classical to the contemporary periods. The role of the imagination in envisaging a better future, through the medium of science fiction, will also be discussed.
Selma Dabbagh is a British-Palestinian writer of fiction who lives in London. Her writing is mainly set in the contemporary Middle East with recurring themes such as idealism (however futile), placelessness, political engagement (or lack thereof) and the impact of social conformity on individuals. Out of It was her first book and was met with critical acclaim. She is currently working on the forthcoming anthology We Wrote In Symbols; Love and Lust by Arab Women Writers.