Friday, September 08, 2006
League of Palestinian Artists Rejects Ankori's Dedication
Click on the banner to read and sign the petition to the 84 Hollywood signatories of the August 16 Los Angeles Times advertisement whitewashing Israel of its terrorist crimes.
Thanks to Bassem for the statement issued by the League of Palestinian Artists re Gannit Ankori's recently published Palestinian Art. An earlier post of Palestinian artist Kamal Boullata's letter to Al-Jazeera re a review of her work (then unpublished) is here (thanks again, Bassem).
Statement issued by the League of Palestinian Artists
After conducting a thorough review of Palestinian Art, by Israeli art historian Gannit Ankori; (Reaction Books Ltd. 2006) the League of Palestinian Artists deemed it necessary to release the following statement regarding "Part I-Foundations, pp.15-57" of the book. The three chapters making up this part are wrought with plagiarism, falsifications and the misrepresentation of sources which all lead to the distortion of facts in writing the history of Palestinian art. The author did not bother to comply with some of the most basic ethical codes of professional practice. Ankori's violations may be summed up as follows:
First: The author intentionally falsified and misrepresented the pioneering field research originally conducted by our Palestinian colleague, artist and researcher Kamal Boullata whose studies have appeared in books, encyclopedias, exhibition catalogues and academic journals. Published over the last three decades, Boullata's studies were the first to document a painting tradition in Palestine since the beginning of the nineteenth century. In light of the historical background he unraveled, he proceeded over the years to analyze the evolvement of Palestinian art in the aftermath of the 1948 national catastrophe (al-Nakba) that culminated in the uprooting and dispersal of Palestinian society.
Secondly: While purporting to present an academic historic study based on her personal findings, Ankori employed different forms of plagiarism. To deflect exposure, at times she included incomplete quotations or selective citations from Boullata's studies that serve her claimed thesis; at other times, she disregarded all proper attribution to her source. Thus, original ideas developed and analyses revealed in Boullata's writings were wholly appropriated and presented by Ankori as if they were her own.
Based on our examination of both parties’ texts, and regardless of the author in quesiton being an Israeli, the League of Palestinian Artists expresses its full solidarity with artist and researcher Kamal Boullata – not on the basis of his being a Palestinian, but rather because his pioneering studies and historic findings, which concern us in the first place, have been mangled and fraudulently appropriated. Gannit Ankori’s plagiarism did not only violate Boullata's rights as a writer but we consider her own writing as an assault on the very historicity of Palestinian art.
Thus, in the name of the League of Palestinian Artists, we ask researchers, art historians, the mass media and all cultural workers to take note of this highly camouflaged case of plagiarism. Readers should approach Ankori's writing with a critical eye that allows them to recognize what appears to be a genuine contribution to documenting a history of Palestinian art, as nothing more than a rehashing of conclusions reached by someone else as verified by published evidence. We must realize that such insidious practices perpetuated by some Israeli researchers who appoint themselves in a position to speak for the Palestinians could only be understood in the context of a colonialist mentality. This kind of appropriation of intellectual property is taking place at the same time in which the Israeli authorities are continuing to seize the remaining lands in our country, and in the process burying its actual history.
Finally, in response to Gannit Ankori's dedication of her book to Palestinian artists: We, the League of Palestinian Artists, reject her dedication and demand from her an apology for violating the intellectual rights of artist and researcher Kamal Boullata.