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'Voice of Resistance': Rim Banna, Cancer, and Palestine's Body Politic

Hamdar, Abir

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This essay offers a cultural anatomy of Palestinian artist Rim Banna’s post-illness body, from her cancer diagnosis, through her death and into the commemorations that ensued. The essay draws on Banna’s music, her interviews, as well as the public obituaries in the wake of her death, to argue that her cancer (and other chronic health issues) have not only been transformed into an allegory or metaphor for the colonial situation of Palestine but into the site for a poetics of Palestinian unity and resistance. In conclusion, the essay observes how the posthumous release of Banna’s last album is the culmination of this becoming-political of cancer.


Hamdar, A. (2020). 'Voice of Resistance': Rim Banna, Cancer, and Palestine's Body Politic. Medical Humanities, 46(3), 234-242.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Mar 19, 2019
Online Publication Date Jun 21, 2019
Publication Date 2020-09
Deposit Date Feb 19, 2019
Publicly Available Date Mar 19, 2019
Journal Medical humanities.
Print ISSN 1468-215X
Electronic ISSN 1473-4265
Publisher BMJ Publishing Group
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 46
Issue 3
Pages 234-242


Accepted Journal Article (602 Kb)

Copyright Statement
This article has been accepted for publication in BMJ Medical Humanities, 2019 following peer review, and the Version of Record can be accessed online at © Author(s) (or their employer(s)) 2020.

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