**IMPORTANT**The installation of Sara Avmaat's Meditations on the Wall has been rescheduled for January 2022. "In 2008 I spent 2 months in Bethlehem, and in 2010 I returned to the Occupied
**IMPORTANT**The installation of Sara Avmaat’s Meditations on the Wall has been rescheduled for January 2022.
“In 2008 I spent 2 months in Bethlehem, and in 2010 I returned to the Occupied Palestinian Territory of the West Bank as an accompanier for the World Council of Churches’ Ecumenical Accompaniment Program (EAPPI). This body of work comes from processing that experience and from my ongoing concern for Human Rights violations in that region.
In 2002, Israel started building what the Israelis refer to as a Separation Barrier and what the Palestinians call the Apartheid Wall. The first time I saw a map of the route my immediate response was, “This must have been designed by a lunatic”. The 8 meter high wall cuts deep into the Occupied Palestinian Territory of the West Bank, zigzagging back and forth and doubling back on itself. The Green Line (generally considered the border between Israel and the West Bank) is 320 km. The projected route of the Wall is 712 km., more than twice as long. (https://www.btselem.org/separation_barrier).
I soon learned this is actually not madness. The Wall loops and zigzags deliberately in order to annex East Jerusalem and multiple illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank, and to appropriate major water sources and the richest farmland. In fact 85% of the proposed route is inside the West Bank. Only 15% is on the Green Line. In 2004 the Wall was declared illegal in an advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice. This has not slowed its progress. Construction moves forward inexorably. Hundreds of Palestinian homes have been bulldozed and thousands of olive trees destroyed for its construction. Whole Palestinian villages are trapped between the Wall and the border. Their residents require special permits to sleep in their own beds at night.
As I thought about doing this series of drawings, I was mulling over the concept of scapegoating. I was thinking about how goats like to be up high. I was pondering Chagall’s paintings of animals floating in the sky. I was remembering the sight of dead baby goats lying on the ground in a Bedouin village. The soldiers came to bulldoze the animal shelters and did not allow the people time to get the livestock out. I was thinking how bewildered animals must sometimes be by human actions and how little power they have in the face of them.
Most of all I was thinking about the craziness of more than 50 years of life under occupation. The animals are imagined. The Wall and it consequences are all too real.”
December 2 (Wednesday) - January 4 (Monday)
The Craig Main Gallery