The Land is Holy

noam keim (Author)


Publisher: Radix
Format: Book
Binding: pb
Pages: 180
Released: May 28, 2024
ISBN-13: 9781737718482

“I don’t think you ever move on from leaving a life behind.”

Flora and fauna populate the lyrical essays in The Land is Holy, where natural life is used to glean respite, healing, and stubborn lessons on survival.

Home has meant many different things to noam keim. Born a Queer Arab Jew in a settler family in Occupied Palestine, raised in the cobblestone streets of Mulhouse, France; a lifetime of escape across Europe, the foothills of Himalayas in Nepal, Bangkok, and then the makings of a chosen family on Occupied Lenape Land, known as Philadelphia. Through it all, the memory of one’s homes, the persistence of kin persecuted across timelines, their complicity in settler colonialism, and a dogged disavowal of inherited trauma. In this staunchly anti-zionist and abolitionist project, the author considers the wounds of diaspora ache by turning to the fierce primal inhabitants of their lineage for answers.

The stork in cyclical rotation, the bitter shiba, the prickly sweet Sabra, the blooming Lindens form larger-than-life metaphors in these essays. Surviving through violent crises and cruel political turns of hand, they are the salve to a world that can be possible with nurture. keim writes, “I want to believe that we carry, in our bodies and bones and blood, the particles of the leaves and flowers that saw our lineages past. Kin.” And in turn they urge us to find kinship with the world that wants us alive and buoyant.

noam keim (they/them) is a trauma worker, medicine maker and flâneur freak. Born a settler of Occupied Palestine in an Arab Jewish family hailing from Morocco, noam grew up in France, first in Mulhouse at the German and Swiss border, before moving to Paris for their studies. After graduating from their masters in American Visual Culture, noam moved to Ann Arbor Michigan for a fellowship. Many tribulations with immigration later, they now live on stolen Lenni-Lenape land (known as Philadelphia) where they build webs of support for individuals impacted by carceral systems. They believe that their childhood antizionist beliefs is what brought them to their abolitionist practices. Their non-fiction writing weaves themes close to their heart: reverence to the land, healing, queerness, colonialism, plants, abolition.

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