Skip to main content

‘Terrace of the Sea’: The Mediations of Memory in a Palestinian Beach Camp in South Lebanon


Institute For Middle East Studies

Terrace of the Sea was shot in 2008-9 in an unofficial Palestinian Bedouin gathering in south Lebanon. Structured around a collection of family photographs taken over three generations, this film examines the experiences of the Ibrahim family not simply or primarily through the prism of nationalist politics, but through their relationship to their work as fishermen and to the beach camp on which they are living. With the political dimension decentered other overlapping attachments become apparent – in particular the tension between a love of home and the land on which it is built, and the ties that continue to bind refugees to their country of origin. A meditation on the distances between memory, photography and film, Terrace of the Sea explores the relations between past and present, home and homeland, and between seeing and being seen.


  • Diana Allan is an anthropologist and filmmaker who received her Ph.D. from Harvard University in 2008, and is currently a fellow at the Society for the Humanities at Cornell, and a 2013 Guggenheim Fellow. She is the creator of two grassroots media collectives in Lebanon––the Nakba Archive and Lens on Lebanon––and her ethnographic films have been screened in international film festivals and as gallery installations. Her recent ethnography, Refugees of the Revolution: Experiences of Palestinian Exile, published by Stanford University Press in November, explores the contingencies of nationalism and everyday survival in Shatila camp in Beirut.