A complete photographic record of monuments bearing the name “Palestine” in and around Melbourne.
Dr Tom Nicholson
Throughout Australia, war monuments bear the name “Palestine” to commemorate the presence of Australian troops in Palestine during World War I and, in particular, Australian involvement in the 1917 British capture of Beersheba (in turn a critical city in the events of 1948 and the Nakba). These monuments also reflect the realities of the 1920s (when they were erected) and the era of the British Mandate, when the name Palestine implicitly invoked the shared position of Australia and Palestine within British imperialism.
Comparative monument (Palestine) figures photographs of these monuments into a Palestinian context—both a kind of “homecoming” and exile for these Australian monumental forms—as a way to reanimate these linkages between Australia and Palestine. In these forms dedicated to 1917, Nicholson implicates the events and repercussions of 1948 with their echoes of Australian Aboriginal experiences of dispossession and colonial violence. Comparative monument (Palestine) is an attempt to rethink the possibilities of the monument in the face of these histories of dispossession and the acts of imagination and solidarity these histories demand. Comparative monument (Palestine) was on display 2-15 November 2012 as part of the exhibition "Gestures in Time - Jerusalem Show VI" at Qalandiya International, Palestine.