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Teach-in Series organized by Erella Grassiani, Mikki Stelder, Sinin Nakhle, Chiara de Cesari, Sudeep Dasgupta, Yolande Jansen, Jamil Fiorino-Habib.

Confused about what is happening in Israel and the Palestinian Territories? Want to learn more? Join academics and other experts for the teach-in “History is Not Context, It’s Reality” – On Israel/Palestine. An interactive lecture series about the political and social reality in the region and how we got here.

31 May, 13.30 - 15.30, REC A.207 (Roeterseiland) 

Water Justice in Palestine 

Muna Dajani (London School of Economics)
Lamis Qdemat (Founder, Water Heroes and activist, Palestine)

Moderator: Margreet van Zwarteveen  (Professor of Water Governance, UvA and UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education, Delft) 

This teach-in will raise awareness about the historical weaponisation of water by the Israeli state against the people of Palestine. Water injustice plays a longstanding role in settler colonial violence in Israel/Palestine. What is the impact of the devastation of Gaza's water and sanitation systems, the damage to agricultural land, the pollution of its groundwater and the blocking of water and food supplies? And what are the strategies and indigenous knowledge systems developed by Palestinians over decades of occupation?

This event is organised in collaboration with IHE Delft Institute for Water Education and Wageningen University. 

17 May, 16.00 - 18.00, online

Public Lecture Waste Siege and Material Practices of Resistance organized by Giulia Bellinetti In the framework of the workshop series Palestine Teaches (AIHR and ASCA); the teach-ins series History is not context, it's reality (ASCA); and the programme Future Materials (Jan van Eyck Academie)

The environmental impact of the war in Gaza might seem of little importance in comparison to the humanitarian atrocities of the unfolding genocide. Yet, images showing the debris resulting from the destruction or damage of more than 100,000 buildings in Gaza remind us that the consequences of the war in terms of illnesses and premature mortality will extend for years after the conflict has ended. In which way waste shapes forms of sociality, politics, and self-understanding for people living in conditions of war and occupation? How can material practices help to trace and make legible the political, environmental, and social affordance of waste in these contexts? The two-parts event will address these questions with a workshop and a public lecture. The workshop and the lecture inform each other, but they respond to different aims. Interested people may decide to follow both or just one of them.

The workshop (upon registration) focuses on the ways material practices can become tools to investigate the political ecologies of waste in contexts of non-soverreignty. Combining theoretical reflections with material practices from arts and design, the conversation will unfold around six key concepts with the aim to refine and possibly expand the methological tools of the participants.

In the public lecture, the invited speakers will introduce the notion and theory of waste siege and discuss how waste in Palestine is a weaponized materiality that impinges on and interweaves with (the loss of) historical crafts and knowledges, industralized modes of production, as well as forms of sociality and self-understanding under Israeli occupation.

Practical information

Public lecture: 17 May, 16:00-17:30. Online. All are welcome.

Speakers: Sakeb (Mariam Saleh and Raghad Saqfalhait); Sophia Stamatopoulou-Robbins (Associate Professor of Anthropology, Bard College). Moderator: A. George Bajalia (Assistant Professor of Anthropology, Wesleyan University).

The event is a collaboration between ASCA, AHRC, and the Future Materials programme at the Jan van Eyck Academie.The event has been realized with the support of NICA.

03 May, 16.00 - 18.00, University Theatre (Nieuwe Doelenstr. 16) 

Palestinian Performing Arts and Cultural Resistance 

3 May 2024, 16.00-18.00hrs.

University Theatre, Nieuwe Doelenstraat 16, 1012 CP Amsterdam

Palestinian Performing Arts and Cultural Resistance


Huda Odeh (Palestinian cultural activist and professional):

A short history of Palestinian performing arts

Jackie Lubeck and Jan Willems (Theatre Day Productions Gaza): Playing Resistance: children's theatre in Gaza

Alaa Shehada (Palestine Comedy Club): The Horse of Jenin (preview)

Musician: NN

moderators: Nan van Houte and Sruti Bala

This teach-in focuses on the role of theatre and the work of theatre makers in Palestine, for whom art has always necessarily been tied to questions of cultural resistance. The event brings together artists and cultural workers based in the Netherlands with a long-time involvement in the Palestinian theatre field. What are their artistic strategies and visions? What are the concrete day-to-day challenges of performing artists living and working under military occupation? How do they counter common misconceptions and prejudices toward Palestinian cultural resistance?

19 April 2024, 13:30-15:30 Doelenzaal, University Library.

History is not context, it's reality; On Israel/Palestine: Palestinian Political Prisoners

Teach-in about the political and social reality in the region and how we got here. Organized and moderated by Jamil Fiorino-Habib and Annelies Moors | The speakers are: Annelies Moors (Professor, Department of Anthropology, UvA); Sahar Francis (General Director, Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association); and Ashjan Ajour (Researcher, Department of Sociology, University of Leicester) .

According to HaMoked, an Israel based human rights organization, and Addameer, a Palestinian prisoner support and human rights organization, there are currently more than 9000 Palestinians being held in detention by Israeli authorities, more than 4700 of which have been arrested across the occupied Palestinian territories since October. Many of these prisoners, a number of whom are children, have been arbitrarily detained and are often subjected to horrific conditions that include various forms of torture and abuse. Bringing together academics and human rights advocates, this teach-in touches upon the forms of resistance within prisoner networks and the advocacy campaigns that have been at the center of the Palestinian liberation movement. In particular, this session focuses on the work of Addameer in collecting information about these unlawful incarcerations, on the history of hunger strikes within Israeli prisons, and on the forms of resistance of female Palestinian prisoners. 

Our three speakers will be:

  • Annelies Moors (Professor, Department of Anthropology, UvA)
  • Sahar Francis (General Director, Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association)
  • Ashjan Ajour (Researcher, Department of Sociology, University of Leicester)

March 23 2024
13:00-17:30 hrs. | Framer Framed

Symposium: Stressing Solidarity - Witnessing Palestine through Art and Architecture

Against the ongoing atrocities and massive annihilation of lives in Gaza, Framer Framed invites you to join Stressing Solidarity: four gatherings on Palestine in collaboration with the Amsterdam School of Cultural Analysis (University of Amsterdam), De Appel, and Disarming Design from Palestine and Kunsthal Gent. Together with artists and academics, the series aims to foster connections with the Palestinian struggle and create a platform to consider implications on the future of Palestine.

The symposium initiated by the Teach-in Series workgroup of the Amsterdam School of Cultural Analysis (University of Amsterdam) on 23 March 2024 at Framer Framed attends to the arts and cultural heritage amid the ongoing genocide in Palestine. The symposium foregrounds the resilience and steadfastness of Palestinian artists, who hone their practices of archiving, witnessing, re-membering and reconstructing as tools of resistance. The accelerated destruction of treasured historical monuments, cultural centers and libraries and the day-to-day restrictions on artists and cultural activities represent a profound assault on the soul of a people, to which the world is yet to fully bear witness.

Further see the symposium organized in collaboration with Framer Framed on 23 March 2024:

Friday March 22, 13:00 - 15:00 | UvA Oudemanhuispoort. Room D.008

History is not context, it's reality; On Israel/Palestine: Witnessing Palestine through Art

Teach-in, supported by “Decolonial Futures” (UvA) | Speakers: Aisha Mershani, Qais Assali, abnd Karmel Sabri | Moderator: Jan Mendes

For this teach-in, supported by “Decolonial Futures” (UvA), Palestinian-US-based artists, scholars, and activists Aisha Mershani and Qais Assali along with Amsterdam-based mixed-media artist Karmel Sabri will engage in a dynamic, pedagogical discussion on how art can be employed as a resistive tool to document, trouble, and reimagine life and death in Palestine under Israeli occupation. Sharing insights and images from their artistic practices, all three artists-speakers will help us to critically visualize and comment on the violence in Gaza — offering a unique cultural and social perspective on war, genocide, and the resistive work that becomes possible through artistic archiving. 


  1. Aisha Mershani (Assistant Professor, Interdisciplinary Studies, Gettysburg College, USA)
  2. Qais Assali (Professor of the Practice, Graphic Arts, Tufts University, USA)
  3. Karmel Sabri (Independent Artist)

Chair:  Jan Mendes (UvA Sociology)

About the Speakers:

Aisha Mershani (Assistant Professor, Interdisciplinary Studies, Gettysburg College, USA)

Mershani’s work traces histories of civil resistance through photography and documentary

film practices. Her photography focuses on the popular struggle against the Apartheid wall in the

occupied West Bank and the Palestinian struggle to live on their lands. From 2003-2022 Mershani focused her subject on the Occupied Palestinian Territories. She has photographed military checkpoints, popular demonstrations, house demolitions, destroyed villages, and the daily lives of Palestinians living under the violence of the Israeli occupation. 

Qais Assali (Professor of the Practice, Graphic Arts, Tufts University, USA)

Assali is an interdisciplinary artist/designer born in Palestine in 1987 and raised in the UAE before returning to Palestine in 2000. Assali uses visual analogy, translation, substitution, and appropriation strategies to rethink forms of communication architectures. Assali taught in Visual Communication in several art schools in Palestine and the US. Assali was a 2019-21 Core Fellow at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX. Assali’s work has been exhibited at Hauser & Wirth, NY (2021); Middle East Institute, DC (2021); Station Museum of Contemporary Art, TX (2021); Stamps Gallery, University of Michigan, MI (2021); Toronto Queer Film Festival, Canada (2021), among many others.

Karmel Sabri (Independent Artist)

Sabri is a socially engaged artist and organizer working primarily with installation, printmaking, public interventions, and parties. She is a current candidate of the Disarming Design Master’s program at the Sandberg Institute in Amsterdam. She creates environments which foster meaningful discussion and encourage community healing of collective colonial traumas. Sabri explores the concept of celebration as a method of resistance through her organization, Dear Gaza 501(c)(3), which from 2015-2019 curated programing, most notably through an annual block party, which provided a platform for artists to engage in a public celebration of Palestinian culture in a context that was never imagined before.

History is not context, it's reality; On Israel/Palestine: Intifada, Revolution. A History of Resistance

Organized and moderated by Jamil Fiorino-Habib and Annelies Moors | The speakers are Miriyam Aouragh, Mouin Rabbani, and Mezna Qato.

15 March 2024, 17:30 -19:30 | Location

Roeterseilandcampus - building M room REC M 1.02

The right to resist is enshrined in international law, based on a principle of self-determination for all people under occupation and colonial rule. Though Palestinians are also recognized as having such rights under the Geneva Conventions, Palestinian resistance and armed struggle are often mischaracterized as unwarranted and barbarious in Western media, preventing an understanding of the nuances and realities of its evolution across the 20th and 21st century. Focusing on the Arab Revolts against the Ottoman Empire and the British colonial presence, the First and Second Intifada, and other contemporary examples of militant and nonviolent resistance in Gaza and the West Bank, this teach-in provides a genealogy of popular resistance and uprisings in Palestine against the multiple waves of settlement, expulsion, and disenfranchisement.

History is not context, it's reality; On Israel/Palestine: (online) censorship of palestinian voices | 1 March 2024 13:30-15:30 | University Library, Doelenzaal

Teach-in about the political and social reality in the region and how we got here. Organizers and moderators: Jill Toh and Naomi Appelman | The confirmed speakers are: Nadia Benaissa from Bits of Freedom and Kifaia, Deborah Brown from Human Rights Watch, Osama Al-Sayyad from Arabi Facts Hub, and Jamil Fiorino-Habib (UvA).

History is not context, it's reality; On Israel/Palestine: European colonialism and its contemporary consequences

Teach-in about the political and social reality in the region and how we got here. | Friday 23 February 2024, 16:00-18:00, OMHP D1.09 | Speakers (confirmed): Anne-Lot Hoek (Independent researcher), Sai Englert (Leiden University) | Chair: Rébecca Franco (UvA)

Collaborations: In addition to ASCA, this event is organized in collaboration with the "Colonialism and Its Afterlives: Seminar Series" and "Feminist and Transnational Sociology"

Contestations over cultural memory on European colonialism affect the current understandings of the situation in Israel/Palestine. What histories are activated and/or made invisible when talking about Israel/Palestine, and how do they justify and allow for present possibilities, politics, and discourse? In this teach-in, the speakers will place the situation in Israel/Palestine and the current genocidal violence within the histories of European colonialism and will discuss how these histories define the present moment.

9 February 2024, 12:15 -13:45 (NB) | Oudemanhuispoort, Room D109History is not context, it's reality; On Israel/Palestine: Anticolonial Queer Liberation in Palestine

Teach-in about the political and social reality in the region and how we got here. Organizers: Mikki Stelder and Roberto Filippello |

The confirmed speakers are : Haneen Maikey and Lynn Darwich | Moderators: Roberto Filippello and Mikki Stelder.

The Israeli state has been trying to harness support from global LGBTQ communities for over a decade by branding itself as the only gay haven in the Middle East. Through an elaborate pinkwashing campaign, it has sought to divert attention from its ongoing occupation of Palestine. In Israel's military assault unfolding over the last months, we have witnessed this branding campaign attaining new heights as Israeli soldiers post selfies with rainbow flags standing atop the rubble of bombed civilian infrastructure in Gaza. For over a decade, Palestinian queer activists and scholars and their allies have been pointing attention to the ways in which Zionist sexual politics are mobilized to support Israel's settler colonial violence. Pinkwashing is a form of colonial violence. In this teach-in, the speakers will discuss the history of Israel's pinkwashing campaign, the importance of anticolonial-queer organizing in and for Palestine, and the current use of Zionist sexual politics in the genocide in Gaza.

19 January 2024, 13.30-15.30: 'Israel and the EU in the Global Arms and Security Industry'.

Teachers: Dr. Wassim Ghantous (Tampere University), Dr. Erella Grassiani (UvA), and Mark Akkerman (Stop Wapenhandel).

Moderator: Yolande Jansen

OMHP, C017

Theme: Israel is known to be one of the important players in the global security and military industry. Not only does Israel provide many countries with security technologies and weapons, but it tests these within Israel/Palestine, foremostly by using them against Palestinians. Also today in Gaza, Israel is using new technologies, such as those based on AI.  In this teach-in the speakers will discuss different aspects of the Israeli security industry, such as its impact on Human Rights in different contexts and its involvement with the Netherlands.

12 January 2024, 13:30-15:30, 'Colonialism and Genocide' in cooperation with Decolonial Dialogues, 13.00 – 16.00, REC A 102 

In 1944, the jewish-Polish jurist Raphael Lemkin coined the term genocide in Axis Rule in Occupied Europe, where he described genocide as a colonial phenomenon, in this case German imperialism. Lemkin started writing his manuscript in the 1920’s and 30’s, however, developing his concept of genocide by studying the extermination of native Americans in the United States. From the start, then, the conceptualization of genocide was deeply related to colonialism. In this evening, we’ll dive deeper into colonial dynamics of genocide, using cases from Banda and Namibia to Palestine and the United States. How are colonialism and genocide related? And how do we see the continued workings of colonialism in genocide remembrance culture and scholarship in the Western world? Join us for a round-table discussion with scholars and journalists. 

Dirk Moses​, Professor of international relations (CUNY), senior editor of the Journal of Genocide Research and co-editor of the War and Genocide book series for Berghahn Books. He has authored and co-edited numerous books on colonialism & genocide. (online)

Maha Abdallah​, Department of Law, Antwerp University. Her research focuses on genocide, settler colonialism and the Palestinian people. 

Marjolein van Pagee​, author of Banda: De genocide van Jan Pieterszoon Coen. 

Chris de Ploeg​, co-founder of the decolonial foundation Aralez, program maker decolonial dialogues at UvA, currently writing a book on WW2 & colonial history for Starfish Books.

Moderator: Phaedra Haringsma, Programmer at Decolonial Dialogues, UvA 


Friday 20 October 2023: The Ongoing Nakba.  
Chiara de Cesari (UvA confirmed), Sudeep Dasgupta (UvA), Mikki Stelder (UvA) 

Friday 27 October 2023 2023 International Law and the Right to resist. 
Jeff Handmaker (EUR/ISS), Omar Barghouti (UvA), Alessandra Spadaro 

Friday 3 November 2023: Eu and Dutch Discourses on Israel/Palestine, and alternative voices.
Speakers: Dimitris Bouris (UvA, political science, Jean Monnet Chair “The EU as a Global Actor”); Noa Roei (joining on zoom) (UvA, comparative literature and cultural analysis); Miriyam Aouragh  (University of Westminster, Media Anthropology, Critical Theory, Global Media and Internet Cultures); Esha Guy Hadjadj (Alumnus MA UvA, writer)

Friday 10 November 2023 2023: Technologies of Repression 
Organised in cooperation with: Jill Toh (UvA law), Naomi Appelman (UvA law). With  Valentina Carraro (Uva, geography), Miriyam Aouragh (University of Westminster), Chris Jones (Statewatch), and Tasniem Anwar (VU).

15 November 2023: Settler-Colonialism & Legacies of Colonialism
Speakers: David Theo Goldberg (UC Irvine) & Saree Makdisi (UCLA) Discussant: Annelies Moors (UvA) Chair: Jan Mendes (UvA) Collaborations: In addition to ASCA, this event is organized in collaboration with the "Colonialism and Its Afterlives: Seminar Series" and "Feminist and Transnational Sociology"

5 December 2023: Palestine as a feminist issue 
Speakers: Khadeja Ibrahim and Joharah Baker (MIFTAH); Dr. Layal Ftouni, Utrecht university; Prof. Sarah Bracke, University of Amsterdam. The moderator will be: Sinin Nakhle 

21 December 2023: Atrocity crimes (genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity) in Israel/Palestine | Teachers: 
Dr. Raz Segal (Associate Professor of Holocaust and Genocide Studies and Endowed Professor in the Study of Modern Genocide at Stockton University);
Ugur Üngör, Prof. of Holocaust and genocide Studies UvA/NIOD); 
Dr. Alessandra Spadaro (UU), Assistant Professor of International Law
Dr. Nahed Samour (Law and Islamic Studies, The race-religion Constellation project, Radboud University Nijmegen)