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Digital Keffiyeh

Digital Keffiyeh is an ongoing project dedicated to Palestinian digital rights and narratives in emerging online spaces. The series consists of tangible interventions, research, and published outputs regarding the non-neutrality of popular tech systems.

The omission or obscuration of Palestinian narratives from popular AI systems leads to digital erasure which exasperates Palestinians’ experience of dehumanisation and disappearance through decades of ethnic cleansing and apartheid.

The black and white checked Keffiyeh symbolises Palestinian resistance and solidarity. I attempted to recreate the Keffiyeh on a popular text-to-image AI generator and in metaverse spaces and faced numerous challenges and biases. These frustrations and obscurations became the basis for research, interviewing, and writing. I published these outcomes in three articles in +972 magazine, including 'The Occupation Enters the Metaverse' and 'What a Cat in a Keffiyeh Reveals About AI's Anti-Palestinian Bias' (see 'Publications'), and also delivered a talk on virtual erasure at the Palestine Digital Activism Forum in 2022.

The primary goal of these interventions and research is to sound the alarm regarding the digital erasure of Palestinian narratives in popular tech systems, countering bias and exclusion by building community and awareness around those sites.

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