Multimediality

In contrast to previous generations of electronic media that were technologically siloed and capable of transmitting only a specific format of messages, contemporary media enable all formats of communication—sound, picture, moving image, and written word—to be transferable from within one medium. This multimediated environment is demonstrated vividly by the iNakba app. To begin with, the application is trilingual, and information about villages appears in Arabic, Hebrew, and English. Thus, users from all over the world can use the application simultaneously in a language they understand. In addition, this enables the application to meet different needs of various audiences. For Palestinians the app can bring up memories of a well-known story represented by a family’s heritage; for Jewish Israelis the application can serve as a source of new information that is not available anywhere else; while for foreign users it can serve as a source of political mobilization and protest.

In addition to the app’s ability to operate in three different language environments, it also stores photos and videos that are an integral part of the villages’ pages on the app. For every village, iNakba suggests two distinct sections—Photos and Videos—in which available content related to a village is suggested to users. In Al-Kabri’s Photo section, for example, one finds eleven photos. One photo shows a map of Al-Kabri’s area. However, the map is not titled and there is no way to know who drafted it or when and where it was drafted. Another picture shows an elderly person, presumably a Palestinian, sitting in a house and looking straight into the camera. Clicking on the photo itself causes it to open up into a larger format, while another click opens the photo’s description. According to the text, the portrayed person is a member of the “original Al-Kabri family,” and a further explanation states that he is the grandfather of the person who uploaded the picture and that he “is the only one who survived from the original Al-Kabri family in Aka.”5 The description in the app includes the person’s full name and the details of the person who uploaded the photo. Six other pictures show Al-Kabri’s ruins, with no further descriptions or details, and the last two pictures show Sabra bushes from Al-Kabri’s area. These bushes are widely referred to as a silent symbol of the old Palestinian presence in the area.

In addition, a YouTube movie is linked to Al-Kabri’s page in iNakba. The movie is one minute and five seconds long, and in it a female narrator describes in Arabic the story of the village. The video, originating from a Palestinian television channel in Lebanon, represents yet another version of the events surrounding the demolition of Al-Kabri, stating that “[o]n the 20th of May the Israeli army invaded the village and destroyed it completely,” without any mention of the convoy or any other battles in the area. Indeed, the movie represents yet another way of mediating Al-Kabri’s narrative using new media’s unique capability to transmit different types of content simultaneously.

 
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