On Site, 2010
Documentary film 44 min, HD quality.
On Site, 2010
The documentary film project On Site takes its point of departure in six former Palestinian villages now located in Israel. These sites have been selected on the basis of young Palestinians' inherited memories of their families' villages being destroyed and depopulated in the 1948 war, revealed through interviews conducted in spring 2009. The young people never appear in the film, but their stories are narrated through six voiceovers. The voiceovers introduce the different sites, and describe each Palestinian interviewee's relationship to the place their grandparents fled in 1948. These stories function as direct links to the visited places, since their place of origin has determined the artist's journey. The film intends to investigate the reality of what is there now, compared to the collective memory of a particular place.
The six sites were re-visited in December 2009 to interview the Israelis who now inhabit these places. The film consists of interviews and images from the surroundings, and is divided into "locations". Spontaneous interviews with by passers at each of the sites were conducted. These Israelis were interviewed on their relation to their current home, their knowledge of the former Arab villages and their opinion on Israel's strategy in relation to these places. The series of overall shots and detail images aim to portray the sites with the remains of the Arab villages as the focal point, and through different perspectives, to investigate layers of belonging, nation building/nationality and construction of history.
The artist has been working in close relation with a researcher and translator, who conducted the interviews in Hebrew. The project is dedicated to Layan Shawabkeh.
On Site is supported by the Danish Arts Council.