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Durham University

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Publication details for Dr Abir Hamdar

Hamdar, Abir (2019). 'Voice of Resistance': Rim Banna, Cancer, and Palestine's Body Politic. Medical Humanities

Author(s) from Durham


This essay offers a cultural anatomy of Palestinian artist Rim Banna’s post-illness body, from her cancer diagnosis, through her death and into the commemorations that ensued. The essay draws on Banna’s music, her interviews, as well as the public obituaries in the wake of her death, to argue that her cancer (and other chronic health issues) have not only been transformed into an allegory or metaphor for the colonial situation of Palestine but into the site for a poetics of Palestinian unity and resistance. In conclusion, the essay observes how the posthumous release of Banna’s last album is the culmination of this becoming-political of cancer.