Olive Fair
Negotiations Working Group

       Olive Fair renders visible the material conditions and the strategies of survival and resistance in occupied Palestine. The installation displays olive products by Palestinian producers - obtained through Sindyanna, a fair-trade company based in Jaffa - side-by-side with video documentation of a direct action by the International Solidarity Movement in support of a group of Palestinian growers in the West Bank who were resisting the uprooting of their olive trees by Israeli soldiers and bulldozers. Olive Fair invites gallery visitors to take product samples in exchange for contributing personal responses to a website, thus enabling networked consciousness and informed dialogue. As the olive products in the gallery diminish, what remains in the physical space - transmitted through the ISM video - is the reality of the struggle in Palestine cultivating a growing public awareness and solidarity in the virtual space. http://olivefair.net

       We are women of diverse cultural background (Anglo-Canadian, Iranian, Italian, Jewish and Palestinian) and with different skills and experiences (some are artists, some academics, and most full-time activists). Our differences have constituted the productive and pragmatic spaces of our 'negotiations', and our work together has been the shared experience of learning our ethical accountability to one another and to a larger political project that touches our everyday lives in different and not always readily acknowledged or immediately visible ways. In spite of all the difficulties and uncertainties inherent in working towards social transformation, months of intense volunteer labour have taught us how to be allies and friends while navigating through politically contentious, socially complex and historically painful grounds. This work has made us more determined: negotiations cannot be channeled by any prescribed roadmaps; they demand complete openness, transparency and good will. Negotiations Working Group started as a small formation with dynamic membership - by choice, chance or guile - within Creative Response. For records of other CR initiatives, visit http://creativeresponseweb.net http://creativeresponse.opinionware.net