This whole time there were no land mines (2017) uses found mobile phone footage and audio recordings that were made in 2011 in The Golan Heights. This stretch of land was annexed from Syria by Israel after the 1967 ceasefire and hosts ‘the shouting valley’ — a place where the topography facilitates an acoustic leak across the border. Here separated families have regularly gathered on both sides of the divide to shout across to each other. On 15th May 2011 the shouting valley was host to a different act of transgression. Protesters from all over the country gathered on the Syrian side of the border for the anniversary of the Nakba. Unlike the usual gatherings in this valley the voice was not the only thing to cross the border as 150 Palestinian protesters from Syria unexpectedly broke into Israeli territory. For the first time since 1967 the border was breached. Four protesters were later killed by Israeli soldiers yet the majority managed to exercise, even if briefly, their right to return.
Installation view Maureen Paley.
Language Gulf In the Shouting Valley (2013) is a 15 minute audio essay ( 3 minute extract above) and audiovisual installation about the politics of language and the conditions of voice faced by the Druze community living between Palestine/Israel and Syria. Recordings of the Druze Soldiers working as interpreters in the Israeli Military Court system in the West Bank and Gaza are contrasted that with recordings from the Shouting Valley, Golan Heights, where the Druze population gather on both sides of the Israeli/ Syrian Border and shout across the jurisdictions to family and friends on the other-side. By Inhabiting the border between Syria and Israel and Palestine the Druze complicate the solid divide. If we listen closely to the oral border produced by this transnational community, in one voice we can simultaneously hear the collaborator and the traitor; the translator and the transgressor.
Installation view from Taqiyya : The right to Duplicity @ Kunsthalle St Gallen 2015 photo : Stefan Jäggi