The title of this work – part of an installation – refers to an Israeli Defense Forces’ training area in the country’s Southern region. Is it accidental that it was named after the American city of Detroit, once a bustling metropolis, and now a ghost town of sorts? The Israeli version of “Detroit” is a simulation of a Palestinian city built by the military in order to rehearse battles situations, including extras who play living targets. The filmmaker shows the city’s architectural plans to various urban planners. Fiction is tested against reality, while simulation is revealed as fantasy.
Vidéocartographies: Aïda, Palestine
“I have asked inhabitants of Aida Camp, Bethlehem, to draw maps of what they see around them. The drawing process as well as the stories related to those subjective geographies have been recorded on video. Through six chapters that form as many potentially independent short films, step by step you’ll discover the refugee camp and it’s surroundings, you’ll follow the routes of some persons and their attempts to deal with the state of siege they live under. Let’s call it a tribute to resistance by going around obstacles, in times where the very possibility of that resistance seems to be vanishing.” (TR)
This video is shot in one of the few “routes” through which Palestinians try to enter Jerusalem from parts of the West Bank. Shot during the month of Ramadan in a sewage culvert beneath Beit Hanina (a Palestinian neighbourhood of Jerusalem divided by walls and checkpoints), Journey 110 is visually haunted by half invisible bodies wading through fetid darkness to reach a distant light at its end. “The ‘Journey of Light’ is often described as floating upwards peacefully through a long journey of intense darkness toward a narrow entrance in delivering light. It is also a well known leitmotif in film and television, deployed as a passage way to heaven or “to the other side” for dying or ghostly characters. It is the passage through this 110 meters that distinguishes the ghosts from the angels.” (KJ)