A Mountain to Protect Me from the Water

Malak Afouneh  |  Creative and Critical Writings  |  2023  |  Palestine
A Mountain to Protect Me from the Water centers on the experience of preemptive loss that takes place when we find out the inevitability of losing someone dear to us before it happens. During this extended period between knowing the inevitability of loss and the moment it happens, we experience emotions and events that we delay processing, in a kind of numbness or pressure from the hysteria that these events force upon us. When the person dies, a surprising resolve emerges from within us to mentally and psychologically process the loss. We find ourselves potentially forming new and confusing emotional structures which put us in a position of fragility and rupture. The project focuses on three elements of loss which are common in Palestine and are characterized by a cruel decline in the quality of life before its end. The book finds in literary language and imagery a mediator that translates the emotions of people who have lived this experience from different positions. It works by giving a sensitive and deliberate voice to these experiences and providing them with its own language to express themselves. It pulls them out of the space of individual drowning into the space of shared healing, thereby making them a force for creation and overcoming. The entire project is a shared healing path through art.