White Oil by Judy Price

Elegy to Mamilla by Sarah Beddington


Wednesday, 26 October 2016, 19:00 - 20:30


White Oil is a single screen film that excavates a number of narratives around the 350+ quarries in the Occupied Palestinian Territories of the West Bank. The stone excavated has been termed the 'white oil' of Palestine, 65% of which is expropriated by Israel for the construction of Israel. Today almost every hillside is scarred by the brutal incision of the quarries. 

The project’s ambition is therefore to imagine a new collective socialist structure that contrasts current constrains. These mechanical fields become a palimpsest for the polemic, reflecting the tenacity of Palestinian people.

The Islamic cemetery in Mamilla, or Ma’man Allah, is an unmarked location next to a shopping mall in the western, Israeli part of Jerusalem. It is an important historical site which dates back over eight centuries and was in use as the burial place for the main dignitaries of the city until the beginning of the British Mandate in the early 1920s. Figures including sheikhs, imams from Al-Aqsa Mosque, governors of the city, scholars and military leaders from the time of Saladin onwards were all laid to rest here.

Since the creation of Israel in 1948, little of the original cemetery land remains - the majority being cleared to create Independence Park. In the northwest corner the construction began of a building complex named ‘Center for Human Dignity - Museum of Tolerance Jerusalem’. Funded by the Simon Wiesenthal Center in the U.S., the project has caused strong international and local protest. Many hundreds of skeletons have been exhumed and removed and their whereabouts remain unknown despite pleas from descendants and the Islamic council for their return. Building work has been suspended for some years but is due to resume soon.

Elegy to Mamilla is a quiet reflection on the cemetery area juxtaposed with footage of the construction site, and goes from daylight through to dusk while the sound incorporates a reading by Palestinian poet Mahmoud Abu Hashhash of the remaining tomb inscriptions.


Judy Price is a London based artist who work with lens-based media. Her work explore art’s effectiveness and relevance to collective struggles using archival sources as well as a sustained study of a place to make visible the overwritten histories and the redrawn boundaries of contested sites. Exhibitions and screenings include; Galerie Leonard & Bina Ellen art Gallery, Montreal; Palestinian Film Festival, Barbican; Danielle Arnaud Contemporary Art Gallery, London; Cambridge Film festival, Cinema Palestine; Al-Ma'mal Foundation for Contemporary Art, Jerusalem. Judy is Course Director, MA photography, Kingston University and Senior Lecturer in BA moving image, University of Brighton and has taught at International Academy of Arts, Palestine.

Sarah Beddington is a British artist and filmmaker, currently based in London, whose work in film and video, and other ephemeral or fragile media, investigates the intersection between the social, personal and political, usually in relation to journeys and migration, and with particular emphasis on a sense of place, time and landscape. She is currently working on a feature-length documentary film that uses the aerial perspective of birds migrating through the eastern Mediterranean to reflect upon ideas of exile, return and home. Sarah’s work has been shown in many museums, galleries and film festivals including amongst others Les Rencontres Internationales, Centre Pompidou, Paris and Reina Sofia Museum, Madrid; Hayward Gallery, London; Eastern Standards: Western Artists in China, MASS MoCA, USA; LOOP film and video festival, Angels Gallery, Barcelona.