A Photographic Memory of Palestine Before the Nakba

Edited by Teresa Aranguren and Sandra Barrilaro

Introduction by Mohammed El-Kurd

Haymarket Books (February 19, 2024)

Hard cover • ISBN-13: 9781642599800 • US $27.95 • 6 in x 9 in • 240 pgs.


A unique, stunning collection of images of Palestine in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and a testament to the vibrancy of Palestinian society prior to occupation.

This book tells the story of a land full of people—people with families, hopes, dreams, and a deep connection to their home. Denying Palestinian existence has been a fundamental premise of Zionism, which has sought not only to hide this existence but also to erase its memory. But existence leaves traces, and the imprint of the Palestine that was remains, even in the absence of those expelled from their lands. It appears in the ruins of a village whose name no longer appears in the maps, in the drawing of a lost landscape, in the lyrics of a song, or in the photographs from a family album. The photographs in this book are traces of that existence that have not been erased. They are testament not to nostalgia, but to the power of resistance.


“At a time of an unfolding Israeli genocide against 2.3 million Palestinians in Gaza, enabled as much by racist, dehumanizing propaganda as by Western arms, funds and colonial complicity, it is more important than ever to always remember to see the human behind the number, the oppression behind the violence, and the complicity behind the genocide. This precious book shares a glimpse of Palestinian lives prior to the Nakba, the initial destruction of our beautiful homeland to project an image of a “desert” that needs a white colonial settler to make it bloom. In the face of this excruciatingly painful phase of our ongoing Nakba of ruthless, inherently supremacist settler-colonial conquest, celebrating our heritage, our cultural roots, our love for life, for freedom, for justice becomes more necessary than ever. This book helps us do so.”

Omar Barghouti, Palestinian human rights defender and co-founder of the BDS movement for Palestinian rights

“Against Erasure is a stunning demonstration of Palestinian resistance, joy, and the beautiful persistence of our people. As argument, it documents the thriving existence of families, children, and whole communities before Nakba, illustrating our powerful connection to the homeland, which persists and resists until full liberation. This book is a testament to the schools we once occupied and the orange groves our great-grandfather’s planted. Through this book, we look into the past as a means of creating and charging towards a future of return.”

Noor Hindi

“We live in a moment when Palestinian life is being ruthlessly dehumanized in the service of a looming genocide. A critical defense of humanity amidst this atrocity is the constant assertion that these are a people who had a culture and a land before it was violently stolen. Against Erasure: A Photographic Memory of Palestine Before the Nakba, is not only beautiful and heart wrenching; it is a political reminder that we are fighting not only with Palestinian life but against an erasure of their entire history.”

Dave Zirin, Sports Editor, The Nation Magazine


Teresa Aranguren is a journalist based in Spain. In 1982, she covered the Israeli invasion of Lebanon as a correspondent for Mundo Obrero (Workers World), has worked for a number of Spanish publications, covering the Israel-Palestine conflict, and the Gulf Wars, and since 1989 has been the Middle East correspondent for Telemadrid. Aranguren is the author of Palestina: El hilo de la memoria (Palestine: The Thread of Memory) (2004) and Olivo Roto: Escenas de la ocupación (Broken Olive Tree: Scenes from the Occupation) (2006).

Sandra Barrilaro is a Spanish photographer and activist. She has been a speaker at the Palestinian Educational Cultural Forum, and participated in the Women’s Boat to Gaza flotilla in 2016. Barrilaro’s work on Palestine has been exhibited widely under the title “Palestine, A Look at Injustice,” and she is currently working on several projects about Palestine. 

Mohammed El-Kurd is an internationally touring and award-winning poet, writer, journalist, and organizer from Jerusalem, occupied Palestine. In 2021, He was named as one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time. He is best known for his role as a co-founder of the #SaveSheikhJarrah movement. His work has been featured in numerous international outlets and he has appeared repeatedly as a commentator on major TV networks. Currently, El-Kurd serves as the first-ever Palestine Correspondent for The Nation. His first published essay in this role, “A Night with Palestine’s Defenders of the Mountain,” was shortlisted for the 2022 One World Media Print Award. Rifqa, his debut collection of poetry, published by Haymarket Books, was named “a masterpiece” by The New Arab and a “remarkable debut” by the Los Angeles Review of Books. The book was one of Middle East Eye’s “Best Books of 2021” and was shortlisted for the 2022 Forward Prize for “Best First Collection.” El-Kurd holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Brooklyn College (CUNY) and a BFA in Writing from Atlanta’s Savannah College of Art & Design (SCAD). He is the Culture Editor at Mondoweiss.


Please contact subagents for the following languages and territories:

Language/Territory Subagent
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English outside North AmericaDavid Grossman Literary Agency
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GermanPaul & Peter Fritz AG Literatur Agentur
GreekRead n' Right Agency
HebrewThe Deborah Harris Agency
ItalianBerla & Griffini Rights Agency
JapaneseThe English Agency (Japan) Ltd
KoreanBC Agency, or Korea Copyright Center
PortugueseRIFF Agency
Russia/Baltics/Eastern EuropePrava I Prevodi
Scandinavia Sebes & Bisseling Literary Agency
Spanish in Latin AmericaMB Agencia Literaria
Spanish in SpainMB Agencia Literaria
TurkishAnatolialit Agency

For all other languages/territories, please contact Roam Agency.