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.