Place Attachment to the Palestinian Landscape: An Art-based Visual Discourse Analysis

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Kuhail, Sima
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University of Guelph

Place attachment is a significant affective, cognitive and emotional bond between people and places of significance. Displaced populations draw on their attachment to a place of origin to help them develop attachment to their new places. Currently eight million Palestinians are living in diaspora as they continue to be displaced. Art-based research is an emerging method in place attachment studies. This research aims to construct a visual art-based place attachment narrative of the Palestinian landscape to inform future landscape design interventions for Palestinian communities. A visual discourse analysis method is applied on the content of the “Intimate Terrains” Exhibition in Birzeit, Palestine (2019) to interpret place attachment to the Palestinian landscape as portrayed by Palestinian artists. This research, while specific to Palestine, can be generalized and can be utilized by landscape architects who intend to better understand the communities they design for and who intend to create meaningful places.

Palestinian visual arts, Art-based research, Visual discourse analysis, Landscape narrative, Place attachment narrative, Memory, Identity, Belonging, Home