A Socio-Cultural Semiotic Study of Palestinian Films on GBV and Peace Building

Proceedings of The 4th Global Conference on Women’s Studies

Year: 2022



A Socio-Cultural Semiotic Study of Palestinian Films on GBV and Peace Building

Manar El-Houbi and Nazmi Al-Masri



As part of the Culture for Inclusive and Sustainable Peace (CUSP) Grant Scheme funded by United Kingdom (UK) Government’s Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF), this  semiotic analytic study explores how violence against Palestinian women is semiotically represented in the four selected films: Salt of this sea, Roof Knocking, Hajez, and Today they took my son. To achieve this purpose, eight research  procedures were conducted: 1) reviewing both theoretical and empirical literature related to role of Palestinian films in representing GBV in context of conflict and identifying research gaps, 2) surveying 270 Palestinians films, and producing an annotated bibliography of 20 Palestinian films addressing GBV, 3) holding two-day focus group discussions with 17 participant graduates of language and literature to collect cultural semiotic analysis of the selected films through examining multimodal representations of violence against Palestinian women and their resistance to such violence following social semiotic approach in terms of representational, interactive (songs and music, pictures, graffiti, scenes of violent and resistance actions), and textual meanings, 4) analysing and discussing the findings thematically in terms of identity, power abuse, and resistance of Palestinian women to all sorts of injustices and their struggle to bring peace to their community and families. The study provides detailed conclusions and recommendations related the field of multimodality and cultural studies and  identification and transformation of social conflict.

keywords: multimodality, Palestinian women, representational meaning, interactive meaning, textual meanings