Adam Rouhana's Before Freedom Pt. 2: The Revolution Cannot Be Built On Dreams Alone at TJ Boultin takes on new narratives from Rouhana’s storied ongoing body of work, offering a deeper cut into his documentation of the lived experience of Palestinians.

While embracing emancipatory imaginaries, this exhibition explores the duality of opposing realities of life under occupation that are a daily feature of living in Palestine. Building on the success of Before Freedom, Pt. 2 develops new narratives to further question history, memory, space, politics and reality itself. The exhibition is inspired in part by the writings of Pan-African activist and thinker Amilcar Cabral, a leading theorist in matters of cultural resistance: “Culture is the vigorous manifestation on the ideological or idealist plane of the physical and historical reality of the society that is dominated or to be dominated.”– Amilcar Cabral

The Revolution Cannot Be Built On Dreams Alone is a realisation of the historical and material realities of Palestinian society, rejecting domination and instead cultivating the fruit of collective history to usurp the free operation of the process of productive cultural development—where it is possible to dream of tomorrow.

​Rouhana’s practice leverages photography to challenge the temporalities of a supremacist regime of visuality by constructing an assemblage of geopolitical, socio-cultural and historical awareness into aesthetic formations. Rouhana supports expanding notions of subjectivity—self-consciously scrutinising dominant transhistorical representations and presenting an alternative.

​"What do you think of when you think of Palestine? Hold those images in your head. Now look around at what you see here. Are they the same—which one is true? We can hold two truths at the same time. Such is reality." – Adam Rouhana

Schoolgirls play, friends bond, wild dogs roam in the night time, girls grow into women and boys become men. Against a backdrop of red poppies and verdant greenery, the occupation forces people to queue for hours to get to and from work— but Palestinian life knuckles towards an inevitably free future.

"The Revolution Cannot be Built On Dreams Alone, although dreaming is one of its main conditions. Our dreams are based on what we see and what we know of the world around us. This exhibition offers images seen through Palestinian eyes, inviting the visitor to dream and act differently. The camera in Adam’s hands reveals the bond between the Palestinian and his homeland. By catching the essence of light, space and movement viewers can feel the moments captured continuing beyond the frame. The images shown in Before Freedom Pt. 2 reflect ordinary realities in Palestine, making them exceptional and in some sense dreamy."– Lobna Sana (Curator)

The exhibition signifies a historic inflection point in photography that moves beyond rolling news and biased, outmoded documentary photography and photojournalism. The world is in a pivotal moment, where people are starting to see Palestine for what it is. Rouhana’s work is for those who want to know more.

Before Freedom Pt. 2 is curated by Lobna Sana.