Soil and pomegranate from the exhibition Nakba


Palestinian stories from 1948

When the state of Israel was established in 1948, 750,000 Palestinians were driven into exile. An additional 130,000 fled to other places within the new state's borders. Palestinians call this expulsion al-Nakba, the Catastrophe.

For three years, journalist and author Bernt Hermele has collected stories from people affected by al-Nakba. Now, some of these stories are being highlighted in a small and intimate audio exhibition at the Mediterranean Museum.

In one of the Mediterranean Museum's smaller exhibition rooms, visitors can listen to some of the stories collected by author Bernt Hermele, narrated by actors. The exhibition also features archival images and a number of collected objects. The exhibition is a collaboration with the National Swedish Touring Theatre.

The audio is recorded in swedish, but english text versions are accessible via QR-codes.

Mormors ring

Grandmother's ring

”My grandmother was given this ring by my grandfather when they married in early 1948. She was sixteen years old then. When they fled from Jaffa to Nablus the same year, a stone fell from the ring.”

Sanna Rabah Löfgren

People with memories of Nakba exist all over the world. The stories in the exhibition are collected in East Jerusalem and the West Bank, in Lebanon, Jordan, Israel, and Sweden. They are stories of powerlessness and resistance, of flight and expulsion, of home and villages that exist no more. But here, there are also dreams that refuse to die.

Alongside the exhibition's stories, a small number of recently collected and loaned items bearing memories of Nakba are also displayed. Among these are a ring that lost one of its stones during its owner's hasty flight, as well as clothes, personal belongings, and photographs.

Soil and pomegranate

Soil and pomegranate

"When I feel bad I smell the soil and the pomegranate and feel better. I smell them once a week, sometimes more often”.

Rachid Alhajeh

Nakba – Palestinian Stories from 1948 will open on Thursday, May 16, at the Mediterranean Museum. The exhibition is based on the book Nakba – catastrophe before our eyes (Ordfront förlag 2023), with texts by Bernt Hermele. In collaboration with the National Swedish Touring Theatre, eleven of these stories have been narrated by actors.