Visit the project
“Echoing memory’s complex cognitive language, I translated through a multitude of forms their individual recollections, our collective history.”
Alexandra Handal, Author, in Artraker.org
Welcome to Dream Homes Property Consultants, a high-end real estate agency featuring so called “Arab-style” homes in the idyllic neighborhoods of West Jerusalem. But explore further, and the hidden layers behind the facades begin to build an alternative narrative: the interwoven histories of the former Palestinian owners whose homes were expropriated during the Arab-Israeli conflicts of 1948. The true subjects of Dream Homes Property Consultants are not the houses but the people whose lives were changed irrevocably when they were forced to leave them behind.
Developed out of author Alexandra Handal’s postgraduate work in the region, the project used participatory research methods and storytelling to capture the memories of Palestinians who were displaced. Within the site, each house and neighborhood is accompanied by haunting texts that provide vivid descriptions rich with biographical details of the families who were once based here. Further exploration yields video interviews, images, and touching hand-drawn maps that Handal asked her subjects to sketch of their lost homes from memory. Viewed through the ironic lens of the imaginary real estate agency, Dream Homes Property Consultants offers visitors a moment of pause to consider the deep entrenchments of the two sides of this conflict and shepherds them into a heartfelt consideration of the deep sadness and loss that haunts the region and the people who remember it.