I’m always searching for new Palestinian film and video art, and today I stumbled upon some excellent performances. Jerusalem artist Razan Akramawy (age 23) is a student in the International Academy of Art in Ramallah, and I look forward to more from her.
The Gate / Checkpoint! (Al Quds - Palestine, 2011)
In the Palestine solidarity movement, a common happening is the mock checkpoint. In these scenarios — usually performed on a college campus — volunteers dress as soldiers and attempt to present some obstacle to passers-by in an attempt to give a small taste of the subjugation and humiliation experienced by Palestinians at Israeli checkpoints.
Here the artist enlists two others to courageously and comically become the checkpoint itself in Palestine. Set in various parts of the Old City of Jerusalem, she imposes on the public a new regime of restriction and movement. Tourists, soldiers and citizens all must wait for her arbitrary decisions so they can move through her checkpoint, or they must evade her control.
Fake Barriers separating us from reality, I am like a machine! Waiting for the commands, my steps are counted, my eyes waiting for the green line to cross. How much you are cruel to put me in a limited space, controlling my actions and my movements. Restrict my movements, do not respect my privacy, my time, and my age, My mind only thinks about only one thing. How my body and my thoughts will pass through those iron bars as quickly as possible? Without my positive energy to be confiscated.
The Scarecrow (Al Quds - Palestine, 2011)
In this performance, she pretends to be a scarecrow. This work accidentally becomes amazing when a Jewish man decides to intervene in her performance.
This project has been implemented in East Side - Sheikh Jarrah. That has a relationship with the Palestinian areas that control by Israeli occupation forces. The Scarecrow is a positive element about protection of the Palestinian Territory. Standing in this place has the message of resistance that the Palestinian people existed, the phrase that written over my shirt reflects my message.
More from Razan Akramawy
See Razan’s Vimeo channel for more samples of her work.