Mona Hatoum is one of the most internationally recognized and acclaimed Palestinian artists working today. Born in Lebanon and residing in the United Kingdom since 1975 (when she was unable to return to her home following the outbreak of the Lebanese civil war), Hatoum has produced an oeuvre marked not only by her personal experience of exile but also by the collective Palestinian experience of dispossession and occupation. Although it is clear that in her work Hatoum deals with what can be described as the ongoing “Nakbaization” facing Palestinians, she does so while actively evading didactic political narration. Yet, beneath the deliberate political opacity of Hatoum’s work, one can find traces of a form of “postmemory” particular to the Palestinian experience. This article focuses on the postmemory of the Nakba in Hatoum’s work and draws particular emphasis on the 1948 massacre at the village of Deir Yassin and how the event impacts upon the artist’s work. Finding evidence of postmemory in many works from across Hatoum’s career, this article argues that postmemory underpins Hatoum’s emphasis on the broader issues of trauma, gender, orality, and corporeality.

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