The said and the unsaid: Performative guiding in a Jerusalem neighbourhood

Eldad Brin, Chaim Noy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


This paper describes a guided walking tour of a formerly Palestinian neighbourhood in Jerusalem and an important battlefield in the 1948 Arab—Israeli War.The paper assumes a critical performance approach to guided tours in examining how through performative guiding, identities, histories and places are (re)constituted. We conceive of performative guiding as a situated event which both takes place in and simultaneously signifies and reconstructs the environment wherein it transpires. The tour we analyse was given by a Jewish-Israeli guide to a Jewish-Israeli audience, and was attended by the first author. The guide's apparent inclination towards the Israeli and Zionist narrative regarding the story of the neighbourhood is highlighted through an analysis of the commentary given. Through an examination of things said and unsaid, we highlight the dual role of performative guiding: relaying historical information and reaffirming partisan narratives.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19-33
Number of pages15
JournalTourist Studies
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • 1948 War
  • Jerusalem
  • Qatamon
  • language
  • performance
  • tour guide


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