Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Israel's theft by enclosure

Ex-Communicated: Enclosure Landscapes in Palestine

Ex-Communicated tells the story of Israeli occupation in Palestine through the genre of landscape and the perspective of a camera lens. In his series of remarkable photographs, Gary Fields, a professor of communication at the University of California, San Diego takes us behind the walls, gates, and fences of this deliberately fragmented geography in revealing Palestinian life under Israeli military rule. 

What he shows in these images is how the forces of occupation use the landscape as an instrument of control over Palestinians and a mechanism for dispossessing them of land and property. Much of this story is untold and largely unseen. These photos convey forcefully how the process of enclosure on the landscape has ex-communicated Palestinians, immobilizing them into ever-diminishing spaces, while at the same time inspiring them into heroic acts of peaceful resistance.

From Ex-Communicated:
On December 11, 2004 settlers from the Jewish settlement of Zufim adjacent to the Palestinian town of Jayyous hired a construction crew to uproot and bulldoze olive trees belonging to Palestinian farmer Tawfiq Hasan Salim. These trees were 200 years old. The red roofs of the settlement of Zufim, that ordered the demolition, stand in the background. The settlement of Zufim wanted to expand and decided that land belonging to Mr. Salim would be the most suitable for expansion. Uprooting and demolition of olive trees is a daily occurrence in Palestine. 

I was with Mr. Salim on the morning of December 12, 2004 when we came upon his bulldozed trees. He lost control, crying and screaming at this grotesque crime.

Script of Ex-Communicated available here

Produced by Alternate Focus. The three founding directors, a Jew, a Christian and a Muslim, are working together for peace and justice by offering media which shows another side of Middle Eastern issues.