B’Tselem is The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories. In 2007 the organization initiated a project, in which video cameras are distributed to Palestinians living in high-conflict areas. The project aims to provide an ongoing documentation of human rights violations and to expose the reality of life under occupation to both the Israeli and international public.
In his new work Arkadi Zaides deepens his artistic exploration of the ongoing conflict in Israel/Palestine. Materials filmed by volunteers of the B’Tselem Camera Project are selected and reviewed. Zaides brings the viewers’ attention to the bodies of Israelis, as they have been captured on camera, and to the physical reactions to which they resort in various confrontational situations. The Palestinians remain behind the camera. Nevertheless, their movement, voice and point of view are highly present, determining the spectator’s perspective.
Although the materials filmed by the photographers reveal the local reality, Zaides wishes to discuss a broader, more universal question: what is the potential for violence embedded in each individual body and what price does the collective pay for controlling the other. Zaides extracts and appropriates gestures and voices, he engages and identifies with the materials, gradually embodying them. Questions of participation and responsibility are opened as his body transforms into a living archive.
Archive materials: volunteers for the “Camera Project”of B’Tselem – The Israeli Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories: Iman Sufan, Mu’az Sufan, Bilal Tamimi, Udai ‘Aqel, Awani D’ana, Bassam J’abri, Abu ‘Ayesha, Qassem Saleh, Mustafa Elkam, Raed Abu Ermeileh, Abd al-Karim J’abri, Issa ‘Amro, Ahmad Jundiyeh, Nasser Harizat, Abu Sa’ifan, Oren Yakobovich, Nayel Najar
Concept & choreography: Arkadi Zaides
Video consultant: Effi and Amir (Effi Weiss and Amir Borenstein)
Sound art & voice dramaturgy: Tom Tlalim
Artistic advice: Katerina Bakatsaki
Assistant choreography: Ofir Yudilevitch
Light: Thalie Lurault
Technical director: Pierre-Olivier Boulant
Production: Yael Bechor
Special thanks to Myriam Van Imschoot
Produced by: Arkadi Zaides
Co-produced by: Festival D’Avignon (FR), CDC Toulouse (FR), Theatre National De Chaillot (FR), CNDC Angers (FR).
Residencies at: CDC Toulouse (FR), CNDC Angers (FR), STUK Leuven (BE), Theatre National De Chaillot (FR), WP Zimmer (BE)
International distribution: Key Performance
For this project Zaides has received a prize from The Emile Zola Chair for Human Rights (IL).