Destinations: A Palestinian-Israeli Audio-Visual Installation
Galia Shapira, Aref Nammari, Haggai Kupermintz, Phil Shane

        The Destinations installation makes use of photographic images collected from Palestinians and Israelis that convey their profound connection to their shared land and its history. Sound recordings capture personal stories of love, hope and pain that the images document. A multiple slide projection, the large photographic images are projected onto the gallery walls in a continuous sequence and are accompanied by Arabic and Hebrew audio narratives - including poetry and literary pieces by Israeli and Palestinian writers. Surrounded by images of the shared land, as seen through Israeli and Palestinian eyes, viewers are invited to re-examine conventional perceptions of the conflict. Collection and dissemination of images and stories continue as the artists constitute a growing archive of hope and struggle towards a common destiny.

       Since November 2002, a group of activists has been meeting in an effort to explore a new vision and discourse to deal honestly and courageously with the Palestinian and Israeli experiences. We emphasize recognition of common destiny, mutual acknowledgement of pain and suffering, and the embracement of the humanity of each other as keys to reconciliation. Group members are: Galia Shapira, an Israeli visual artist; Aref Nammari, a Palestinian electronics engineer and activist; Haggai Kupermintz, an Israeli assistant professor of education; and Phil Shane, an American associate professor of accounting. The Destinations group aims to promote the co-existence of historical, cultural, and spiritual Palestinian and Israeli narratives, through collaborative intellectual and artistic expressions. By braiding together the stories of peoples' love for their land, their struggles, pain and hopes, we strive to develop a new understanding of reality. Our work stems from the realization that a great responsibility for promoting an alternative vision lies with the intellectual, spiritual, and arts communities in developing new images of co-existence that resist self-serving political and economic dictates. We hope to give voice to a grassroots movement, expressing Israeli and Palestinian deep yearnings to transcend their tragic destiny as eternal communities of suffering.