Parallax Haifa: 
Stories of Everyday Parallel Spaces and Times

Parallax Haifa is a project in development since 2018, that explores how Palestinians bear witness to and narrate their experiences of the past Palestinian urban landscape of Haifa before the Nakba.  It is an audio collage of narratives of the city that wander through an as-of-yet unexplored territory of Palestinian history and landscape; to recover a lost and unaccounted time and place. It is a collage of factual, archival, fictional, and sensory experiences of the Palestinian city, constructed into a speculative narrative of the past. It offers but one of multiple possible versions of that past; probing questions about the power of historical writing in crafting realities – whether past, present, or future.

By combining different and overlapping spatial, temporal, and literary methods into a correlative procedure of mapping and collage, the landscape of Haifa is traversed as a string of journeys, experiences, encounters, and meeting-points assembled from fragments of narratives. Using a fragmentary and speculative narrative that mimics the spatio-temporality common to disrupted landscapes and histories of rupture, this narrative collage dissolves characters, narrators, and their divergent focalisations.

Parallax is the displacement of objects, stories and timelines through shifting between different points of view and narrators. “These differentiated and shifting perspectives become a means of moving between stories and exploring multiple selves that haunt the streets” (Pinder, 2001:5-6)

The stories that make up this project take place sometime between 1926 and 1936. Together, they have been collaged to create a story that transcends chronology and geography. It is a fragmentary narrative of multiple stories of men and women walking the streets of Haifa, whose journeys extend across space and time and collate with the streets of Jaffa, Jerusalem, Beirut, Damascus, Baghdad, and Cairo. Its beginning and end are incidental, its structure is merely one way of telling this story, its characters only a few from amongst numerous others whose stories have not yet been told.

The narrative is guided by the landscape itself (the stories have been collaged together intersecting at real locations. These narratives are mapped across various locations in Haifa. See complete map), led by the winding of the streets, connected by crossroads and T-junctions, and left to unravel inadvertently in the city squares (unconditioned by the intentions of the writer(s), or of the narrators); lives taking place in parallel spaces and parallel times, passers-by whose trajectories intersect at sporadic moments, in narrative plots and character collisions. It combines fiction and memoir to construct a continuous landscape of unceasing movement and change – a meticulously-mapped physical (factual) landscape that spatialises lived and sensory experiences within a journey through Haifa’s historical streets and buildings as they were in the past.

Lama Suleiman is a writer, researcher, cultural critic, and artistic producer based in Haifa, Palestine. Lama has obtained a bachelor’s degree from City University London in Sociology & Media Studies (2013), and a master’s degree in Critical Sociology from Ben Gurion University (2020) – both with high distinction. As a researcher Suleiman specialises in Arab modern history of the Middle East, specifically in studying the phenomenology of everyday life in urban landscapes in pre-Nakba Palestine. Since 2017 she has been developing a vast historical and archival research that she has recently begun to expand into screenwriting. Suleiman is a published writer and cultural critic, her most notable publications deal with the concept of Arab-futurism and contemporary Arab cultural development, policy, and activism. In addition, Suleiman has also had experience in art curation, working on numerous exhibitions dealing with life in the public realm, the digital realm, and the realm of dreams.

Nadine Fattaleh is a Palestinian writer and researcher from Amman. Her work focuses on spatial practices through cartography and film. She previously worked on projects at the Center for Spatial Research, Studio-X Amman, and MMAG Foundation, Amman. Nadine is currently the OSUN Fellow in Human Rights and the Arts at Bard College. Nadine received a B.A. in Middle East, South Asian and African Studies from Columbia University, and a M.S. in Critical, Curatorial and Conceptual Practices in Architecture at Columbia GSAPP.


*Created by: Lama Suleiman (
*Narrated by: Laila Hallaq & Adam Haj Yahia
*Sound design: Adi Haddad
*Website developer: Saleem Diab
*Illustrations by: Nasreen Abd Elal
*Cartographic data was created with the generous assistance of Nadine Fattaleh & Palestine Open Maps.
*Special thanks to Lifta Volumes & the Center for Palestine Studies – Columbia University, for all their help and support in realising this project.

Watch a special conversation between Lama Suleiman and Nadine Fattaleh on Weds, March 2 at 1pm NY! Registrater here:

Get in touch with Lama Suleiman at !