Film Screening with Talk


Empty Desert by Silvia Baorini and Linda Paganelli

Italy/UK 2016, 58mins


9 November 2016, 18:30 - 20:30


The struggle of Negev ( Naqab) Bedouins for their place on the map. 'Negev ( Naqab), southern Israel, Al Araqib has been demolished countless times by state authorities and each time rebuilt by the Al Turi  families who call it their home. 

Empty Desert follows Al Araqib's fight for recognition and through interviews with the Al Turi, activists, academics and state authorities documents the wider struggle of Negev Bedouins to see their rights as full citizens recognized by Israel.'

Ben Jamal will be discussing the film with Hilary Tyrrell, Philip Nixon and Haia Noach and Silvia Boarini on skype


Silvia Boarini is an Italian photographer and journalist. She is based in the Levant. She studied photojournalism at the LCC in London and gained an MSc International Politics from SOAS. She is currently working on her next documentary on artists in Gaza. Silvia's photographs have been exhibited internationally and her work has appeared in outlets such as Radio 3 RAI, Al Jazeera English, Repubblica, BBC, Nigrizia, Narcomafie, You Magazine and D. Her series 'Bedouinland' and 'Land of the Prickly Pears' (LOTTP), received an honourable mention at the International Picture Award, New York. LOTTP was also shortlisted for the Tom Webster Award for photojournalism. 

Linda Paganelli is a visual anthropologist from Italy. After completing her Bachelor Degree in Social Studies in Italy she moved to London where she specialized in Visual Anthropology following a Master Degree at Goldsmiths. In London she joined the international cooperation and travelled to Afghanistan, Nicaragua, Italy, and Occupied Palestinian Territory. Since then she has been working as media consultant and independent documentary filmmaker. Her work tackles issues around human rights, minorities and groups existing outside of mainstream society. Her films have been shown internationally and have received honorable mentions at festivals in Italy, the UK and Romania.

Hilary Tyrrell is a retired science teacher and Philip Nixon a retired engineer. They are members of PSC, Kairos Britain and ICAHD (UK). They first heard of the Bedouin Unrecognised Villages in 2011 from speakers visiting the UK. Since then they have visited Israel/Palestine four times and have been to Al Araqib and other villages, including Um el Hiran and Atir which are currently under threat of demolition. Back home they have been active in raising the profile of Israel’s Bedouin citizens including lobbying their MP and the FCO.

Haia Noach has been Executive Director of the Negev Coexistence Forum for Civil Equality (NCF) since 2011, leading a grassroots organization working to promote the human rights of Bedouin residents of the southern part of Israel. Noach is one of the founders of the organization, and served as a program manager and founder of its Arab-Jewish Community Center before being appointed as Executive Director. Noach is also a co-founder of Recognition Forum, a coalition of CSOs working for the recognition of the unrecognized Bedouin villages. Noach hold a BA and MA in Geography from Ben Gurion University of the Negev, and her thesis focused on the unrecognized Arab-Bedouin villages of the Negev. In 2010 she released the publication "The Existent and Non-Existent Villages: the Unrecognized Villages of the Negev."

Ben Jamal is of Palestinian heritage. He has been active in the Palestinian solidarity movement for over 15 years , chairing the Richmond AND Kingston branch of PSC from 2003 to 2016 and being a member of PSC executive committee from 2010-2016, in October 2016 he was appointed PSC director.

Azez Al Turi was born in the village of Al-Aragib and studied in Rahat. He currently lives in the village with his wife and six children. He is one of the strong leaders of the village’s resistance to its demolition. Since the massive demolition of the village of July 2010, the village was demolished by the Israeli authorities 101 times. He is also a devoted activist, fighting for justice in the Negev-Naqab and against the discrimination of the Bedouin-Arab population. Every Sunday for the last six years, Azez holds a protest vigil for his village in a central junction in the Negev-Naqab. In order to take the leading role in his village’s protests, Azez left his job to be a full-time activist.

Saleha Rahal is a secondary school French and Spanish teacher and a French National of Algerian decent. Her family and close friends have always supported the Palestinian  cause both in Algeria and France. So it is a struggle she has always stood in solidarity with both as an activist in her student years and as a PSC member in London.