FORGETTING WHAT IS IN FRONT OF YOU
A short photo-ethnography of tours and rocks in The City of David National Parks. This essay explores the possiblity of assigning, as John Berger argues, a different past and future, to photographs of placed already deeply embedded in a political history.
Photo-Ethnographic Short Essay
This photograph was taken by Anthony (AH), a 30 years old man from “Downtown Los Angeles, Hill and Washington, near the Courthouse.” We met at the Home Depot parking lot on Sunset, where he was looking for construction work as a day laborer. I told him I had a photo assignment for a class on photo-ethnography, and asked if he would be willing to take my picture and sign it. Anthony could not care less about the politics of photography I was trying to sardonically remark on, or my intention to assert myself as the subject of the work in an attempt to discuss agency. Instead, he wanted to know the pay. Anthony asked for $60, completely blowing my attempt to achieve some semblance of an hourly rate. He told me his signature is worth something and that has nothing to do with hourly wages. I stood my ground, mostly out of concern for my own depleted bank account balance. Our quick negotiation landed at $30 and we quickly headed to the ATM across the street to withdraw the cash. I gave him the money. Unceremoniously, and with little consideration to framing, light, or composition, he took my picture. We walked together back over Sunset to the parking lot of the Home Depot while we briefly discussed his professional specialization, dry-wall installation.
To look back at this archive and witness people, places and events that are unfamiliar is to understand who has been forced out of our shared history. To understand the context in which these images were created, as well as the historical processes that are interwoven into their production and preservation, is to understand that history’s ideology. Dissident images explores the photographs of the famous Matson Collection, mostly produced in the first half of the 20th century in Palestine, to reimaginne the history of Israel. Extended captions are placed next to the photographs to add context and personal reflections.
START THE FORGETTING MACHINE!
Start The Forgetting Machine Explores the subjugation of knowledge in photographic archives in Palestine and Israel. The spotlight is turned to both historically and contemporary photographers who are subverting nationalist narratives by producing counter archives.
Single Channel Video, HD, 15:48 min
"Avrushmi" follows the events of February 10th, 1983 when a grenade was launched at a "Peace Now" rally protesting the Sabra and Shatila massacre and resulting in the death of Emil Grunzweing and the injury of 9 others. The movies attempts to compile a comprehensive image of the events and determine what really happened, whilst understanding it is doomed for an epic failure in the process.
Staring: Gadi Tzdaka
Cinematography: Dan Bronfeld
Sound Design: Gadi Raz
Make-Up: Dikla Sharabi