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Bread: Palestine/Israel (A documentary Installation)

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Tina Gharavi


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A documentary film installation about a day in the life of two bakeries - one in the West Bank in the Occupied Territories of Palestine and one in an Ultra-Orthodox district of West Jerusalem. In each bakery, we follow the story of one Palestinian and one Israeli as they go about their daily tasks. Danny runs a bakery in Jerusalem, founded by his father in 1929, and in a part of town that is increasingly becoming a conservative religious stronghold. His shop is popular and people come from all parts of the city to buy their Shabat bread. Khalid is a former Hamas member who learnt to make bread during his years in jail. Now his Hebron bakery is known as the best in town and is a popular treat for families on a Friday evening. This installation documentary is a unique method of telling stories that cross the divide. The project invites the viewer to engage with human stories of this resonant conflict and to keep an open mind about life on both sides of the Wall of Separation. As each character relates his experience, the stories unfold and contrast, often ironically, revealing the humanity behind the conflict; telling us new stories about the way we live, what is happening around the globe, as well as in our own neighborhoods. This observational documentary captures a unique and highly contemporary snapshot of the Middle East. The screen acts as a metaphor for the Wall. The projected stories seem to tell us that truth is ambiguous and belongs to no one. Are there ‘good guys’ and ‘bad guys’? Are there more similarities than differences? The Installation A suspended screen transects the center of a large darkened room. On either side of the screen is the image of a bakery; one in Israel and one in Palestine. These tell the stories of Danny and Khalid. In order for the viewer to see the stories, they must move between the two sides of the screen. Movement activates the film. Both sides must be considered, yet only one screen can be seen at a time. In addition, the piece will use interactive motion-capture technology to monitor the number of people who are ‘resting’ on each side. Computer Scientist, Patrick Oliver, collaborator on the project has devised a way of looking at the number of people on each side of the screen and compensating for their movement (or lack of movement). The installation would work equally without this element, but the use of technology to ‘monitor’ and an element of ‘security control’ adds an appropriate subtext to the project.

Publication metadata

Artist(s): Gharavi T

Publication type: Artefact

Publication status: Published

Year: 2005

Venue: Bridge + Tunnel Productions

Location: UK

Source Publication Date: 2005

Type of Work: Installation