Thinking on foot: new Italian pilgrimages in the work of Emily Jacir, Diana Matar and Hisham Matar

Emma Bond*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Abstract

The catalogue to Rome-based Palestinian artist Emily Jacir’s Europa exhibition of 2015 includes a short excerpt from Franco Cassano’s Southern Thought entitled “Thinking on Foot”. This article maps key elements of Cassano’s essay, namely the focus on “Mediterranean” values of slowness, contemplation, and conviviality onto readings of Italy-based works by Emily Jacir, Diana Matar and Hisham Matar, all of which provide capacious ways to rethink the idea of pilgrimage. Reflecting on the sites, sights and routes that form the basis of these works, the article shows how they represent pilgrimage as a slow form of contemporary cultural mobility, one concerned with deep contemplation of place as a response to experiences of loss, displacement and exile. Sacred journeying is experienced here through instances of micro-travel, such as walking, standing and looking, and personal transformation is charted through moments of slow thought and memory-work, as captured in multiple, mobile artistic forms.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)110-127
Number of pages18
JournalStudies in Travel Writing
Volume25
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 8 Mar 2022

Keywords

  • Contemplation
  • Cultural mobility
  • Maps
  • Mediterranean
  • Pilgrimage
  • Slowness

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