Bethlehem ~ Palestinian Areas
Emily Jacir (b. 1970, Bethlehem, Palestine) Emily Jacir is an exceptionally talented artist whose works seriously engage the implications of conflict. Her video Crossing Surda (2003) records the two kilometres Palestinians have to walk between military checkpoints on the last permitted road between Ramallah and 30 Palestinian villages. Where We Come From (2003) documents the requests of people denied access to their homeland ¬– ‘play soccer with a boy in Haifa’; ‘water a tree in my village’; ‘put flowers on my mother’s grave’ – and snapshots of Jacir, whose American passport and ‘freedom of movement’ stamp allow her to carry out those requests. Retracing bus no. 23 on the historic Jerusalem-Hebron Road (2006) recalls the journey in the 1960s and shows the intrusion of ‘the wall’, the isolation, restriction, enclosure and devastation of community. Memorial to 418 Palestinian Villages Destroyed, Depopulated and Occupied by Israel in 1948 (2001) – an abandoned refugee tent, hand-stitched by exiled Palestinians, Israelis and others – is a desperate witness to enduring memory. Emily Jacir is awarded for the quality of her intensely evocative artworks that transcend the national framework and resonate with exiles around the world, for her resistance to injustice, and for her attempts through cultural actions to heal the wounds of conflict.