Joan Mandell, Olive Branch Productions

Does Anyone Really Want Peace in the Middle East?

“Whose Story Do We Hear, Whose Story Do We Tell?: Choosing Narratives for Activism on Israel-Palestine”

Tuesday, November 6, 4pm, 206 Ingraham Hall

“Boycott? Comparative Views from Israel/Palestine, Myanmar/Burma, South Africa/Azania, the US/Atzlan”

Wednesday, November 7, 4pm, 206 Ingraham Hall

Public Seminar

Thursday, November 8, 12:20pm, 8108 Social Science Building

Co-sponsored by the UW Middle East Studies Program and the Madison-Rafah Sister City Project

There are no suggested readings for Joan Mandell’s visit. Instead, we have made three of her films available online for streaming (no downloads). The films are only available on computers within the UW campus network, and you’ll need to use the username “soc994” and password “walsh” to be able to see them. To watch the films in a computer lab on campus, you might 1) bring headphones with you 2) bring a campus ID with you and borrow headphones from the lab’s help desk or 3) use the computer lab in Van Hise that has headphones at each terminal.


  • Gaza Ghetto: Portrait of a Palestinian Family, 1948-1984 (1984, 82min)
  • Voices In Exile: Immigrants and the First Amendment (1997, 30min)
  • I, Too, Sing America (2002, 2min)
  • Tales from Arab Detroit (1995, 45min) (Not yet posted–will be available by Friday November 2nd)

JOAN MANDELL is the director of Olive Branch Productions, based in Detroit, Michigan, where she is a documentary producer, curator and educator. Her film and video career spans two decades and includes films for PBS, UNIFEM (United Nation’s Women’s Organization) and international broadcast. Her award-winning films, Tales from Arab Detroit, Gaza Ghetto, and Voices in Exile are widely taught on US college campuses. As a university educator, Joan Mandell has taught film and video production, international film history and media literacy at the University of California/Irvine, the College for Contemporary Studies, Detroit and to college students traveling around the world through the Semester-at-Sea program. Joan Mandell has lived and worked in the Middle East for nearly a third of her adult life. She was an instructor of English as a second language at Birzeit University, editor at Al Fajr newsweekly and a Fulbright Scholar to the West Bank/Palestine. She served on the editorial board of Middle East Report for two decades and has been an active member of the New Day Films cooperative for 12 years. Joan Mandell was a Felton Scholar in Media Literacy and an Affiliated Scholar at the von Grunebaum Center for Near East Studies at UCLA. She earned an MFA in Theater, Film and Television at UCLA.