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Month: March 2022

Decolonising the Palestine Exploration Fund

Written by Felicity Cobbing, Yasmeen Elkhoudary and Avantika Clark

As historians, we utilise various resources to conduct our research – none as important as the archives we dig around in for those all important “primary sources”. But archives are not neutral spaces. We asked the Palestine Exploration Fund to share with us the way in which they are approaching the idea of decolonisation and what it means for an institution with a colonial history.

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War, Media and the ‘Middle East’

Written by Anne Caldwell

From the very beginning, this special issue was intended to question our academic and media narratives of the “Middle East” (or Southwest Asia) – the Levant and Palestine in particular. From the archives we utilise to the culture we analyse and the news media we consume, our understanding of South-West Asia and North Africa (SWANA) is not without its biases. This has never been clearer than in the current cultural clash over decolonisation, amplified in this moment by the crisis unfolding in Ukraine.

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Tank: War Machine of the Battlefield, War Machine of the Mind

Written by Mark Connelly

As a teenager in the 1980s I was a great fan of Spitting Image. Every Monday morning in school there would be frenzied exchanges of the best lines and sketches. A firm favourite, which has entered the lexicon of my brother and I, was a May Day parade in Red Square. The puppets of the Soviet leadership were becoming mightily bored by the unending display of military might. Suddenly, one piped up with a game declaring, ‘I spy with my little eye something beginning with T’ in the great cod-Russian accents which we all knew so well from Cold War spy dramas. A Politburo member got the answer: ‘Tank’ (pronounced, of course, ‘Tenk’). Having won the round, it was his turn, ‘I spy with my little eye something beginning with A’. The answer was ‘another tank,’ next it was something beginning with ‘Y’, to which, of course, the response was ‘yet another tank’.

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