Unlocking the Eruv: Asfar, 12 March 2016

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Photographs tend to personalize, not to visualize, as is the nature of microcosms. It is hard to avoid the temptation to focus a camera on the lone child standing beside one ruined house rather than on the systematic character of land appropriation as seen in borders and structures and other visual signs that articulate land through materials and shapes.

On this day the microcosm is a micro victory: The members of a Palestinian family were too afraid for years to enter their land next to the Israeli settlement Metzad (Asfar). But they realized that visual signs of neglect on the land could eventually lead to a declaration of abandonment followed by confiscation. They decided to risk returning. Continue reading

An Eruv in South Hebron

Project20140531_0587-lvlbrnfltAn eruv is a symbolic courtyard used by orthodox Jews.   For one day each week, Shabbat, it turns a group of private dwellings into one shared home for anyone who lives there and wishes to take part.  The transformation allows its inhabitants to carry things (a prayer book, a meal, a child) from their private homes into the public space and throughout the eruv, an activity otherwise forbidden on that day.  For some people, Shabbat would be a somber affair without one.  Others may never even know that this subtle border is there. Here the boundary is designated by a series of poles linked with string to stand for the posts and lintels of interconnecting gateways. Continue reading