Grinding poverty, disgraceful racism, brutal violence and centuries of subjugation have historically marginalized and dehumanized African-Americans in the United States. Baldwin's novels expanded the dialogue on America's entrenched racism and homophobia and helped to initiate change in the relationship of many Americans to race and sexuality. James Baldwin was certainly not the first artist to develop his work from the vantage point of a witness to the marginalized. The artist as witness, corroborator and poetic conveyer of the experiences of the marginalized offered me critical examples of creative engagement that could be applied in Palestine. Based on his penetrating observations of marginalized communities and individuals, Baldwin constructed narrative structures that unveiled and made accessible their complex realities, fears and desires. This "Archive of Absence" would link personal stories of survival and resistance that are being collected by scholars, artists and activists from a diverse assortment of refugee communities.