Added: May 16, 2015 – Last updated: November 5, 2016


Author: Nahla Abdo

Title: Captive Revolution

Subtitle: Palestinian Women’s Anti-Colonial Struggle Within the Israeli Prison System

Place: London

Publisher: Pluto Press

Year: 2014

Pages: 264pp.

ISBN-13: 9780745334943 (hbk.) – Find a Library: Wikipedia, WorldCat | ISBN-13: 9780745334936 (pbk.) – Find a Library: Wikipedia, WorldCat | ISBN-13: 9781783711857 (EPUB) – Find a Library: Wikipedia, WorldCat | ISBN-13: 9781783711864 (Kindle) – Find a Library: Wikipedia, WorldCat | ISBN-13: 9781783711840 (PDF) – Find a Library: Wikipedia, WorldCat

Language: English

Keywords: Modern History: 20th Century | Asian History: Israeli History, Palestinian History | Offenders: Prison Staff; Types: Prison Rape; Victims: Prisoners



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Author: Nahla Abdo, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Carleton


  Acknowledgements (p. vii)
  Introduction (p. 1)
    Reflections on Methodology and Research Methods (p. 7)
  1. Forgotten History, Lost Voices and Silent Souls: Women Political Detainees (p. 14)
    Detainess or Prisoners (p. 16)
    Why the Silencing of Female Political Detainees? (p. 20)
    Mechanisms of Silencing (p. 24)
    Different Prisons, Similar Experiences (p. 26)
    The Criminalization of Political Detainees (p. 29)
    Political Detainees and Administrative Detention (p. 31)
    Agency and Resistance in Israeli Detention Camps and Prisons (p. 33)
    New Skills and Alternative Senses (p. 37)
    National Anti-Colonial Resistance in the Era of New Imperialism (p. 39)
  2. Anti-Colonial Resistance in Context (p. 42)
    Similar Aims, Different Forms (p. 48)
    The New Imperialism, Israel and the Arab World (p. 50)
    Orientalist Feminism and Palestinian Women's Resistance (p. 56)
    Palestinian Resistance: a Historical Context (p. 70)
    Palestinian Women: Between Victimization and Agency (p. 71)
    The Nakba: Memory as the Guardian of History (p. 77)
  3. Colonialism, Imperialism and the Culture of Resistance (p. 84)
    International and Regional Struggles: Impact on the Palestinian Revolution (p. 89)
    Palestinian Resistance Culture: A Historical Context (p. 94)
    Women, Memory and History (p. 98)
    Adab Al-Muqawama (Resistance Literature) (p. 100)
    Palestinian Culture: A Genre of Resistance (p. 103)
    Palestinian Icon of Resistance Literature: Ghassan Kanafani (p. 105)
    Adab Al-Sujoun (Prison Literature) (p. 109)
    Resistance for Hope and Healing: Mahmoud Darwish (p. 110)
      Shea`r al-Muqawama (Resistance Poetry) (p. 112)
    Tawfiq Zayyad: The Voice of His People (p. 119)
  4. Political Detainees and the Israeli Prison System (p. 124)
    Life Before Detention (p. 126)
    Why Do Palestinian Women Join the Armed Resistance? (p. 132)
    Women's Voices, Personal Experiences (p. 137)
    From Arrest to Interrogation to Detention (p. 141)
    Interrogation: Where it Hurts Most (p. 147)
    Physical Torture (p. 150)
    Psychological Torture (p. 154)
      One Hundred Eyes Cry, But Not My Mother's (p. 155)
      Denigrating Arab Culture and Values through Sexual Language (p. 160)
      Psychological Torture, Sexual Abuse, Threat of Rape and Rape (p. 161)
  5. Prison as a Site of Resistance (p. 167)
    Individual Resistance in Israeli Prisons and Detention Camps (p. 170)
    Refusing Orders (p. 171)
    Refusing to Collaborate (p. 172)
    The Personal in Prison (p. 174)
    Resistance Despite Bringing Family to Prison (p. 177)
    Collective Resistance Among Female Political Detainees (p. 178)
    Education as a Collective Means of Resistance: 'The Prison as Academy' (p. 183)
    The Changed and the Changer (p. 186)
    The Intimate and the Sexual in Prison (p. 189)
    Remembrance and Forgetfulness in Prison (p. 192)
    Life After Prison (p. 194)
    Back to the Social Struggle! (p. 196)
    Employment Among Women Ex-Detainees (p. 203)
  Conclusion (p. 208)
  Afterword (p. 212)
  Notes (p. 213)
  Bibliography (p. 225)
    Books and Articles (p. 225)
    Films and Documentaries (p. 240)
  Index (p. 241)


»Women throughout the world have always played their part in struggles against colonialism, imperialism and other forms of oppression. However, there are few books on Arab political prisoners, fewer still on the Palestinians who have been detained in their thousands for their political activism and resistance.
Nahla Abdo's Captive Revolution seeks to break the silence on Palestinian women political detainees, providing a vital contribution to research on women, revolutions, national liberation and anti-colonial resistance. Based on stories of the women themselves, as well as her own experiences as a former political prisoner, Abdo draws on a wealth of oral history and primary research in order to analyse their anti-colonial struggle, their agency and their appalling treatment as political detainees.
Making crucial comparisons with the experiences of female political detainees in other conflicts, and emphasising the vital role Palestinian political culture and memorialisation of the 'Nakba' have had on their resilience and resistance, Captive Revolution is a rich and revealing addition to our knowledge of this little-studied phenomenon.« (Source: Pluto Press)


Eqeiq, Amal. Journal of Palestine Studies 45(1) (Autumn 2015): 98-99. – Full Text: Institute of Palestine Studies (Free Access), University of California Press (Restricted Access)

Graubart, Ellen. Counterfire (January 8, 2015). – Full Text: Counterfire (Free Access)

Hollis, Rosemary. Contemporary Arab Affairs 8(4) (2015): 582-583. – Full Text: Taylor & Francis Online (Restricted Access)

Sayigh, Rosemary. »Palestinian Women Resist Israel's Prisons.« Journal of Holy Land and Palestine Studies 14(1) (May 2015): 127-132. – Full Text: Edinburgh University Press (Restricted Access)

Webster, Kitty. Red Pepper: Spicing Up Politics (February 2015). – Full Text: Red Pepper (Free Access)

Wikipedia: History of Asia: History of Israel, History of Palestine | Types of rape: Prison rape