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Yael Bartana

Summer Camp, Israel , 2007

Video, 12 minutes

Courtesy of the artist, Annet Gerlink Gallery, Amsterdam and Sommer Contemporary Art, Tel Aviv

In her “Summer Camp”, Yael Bartana documents the rebuilding * of a house demolished by Israeli authorities in the West Bank village of ‘Anata in protest against Israel’s policy of collective punishment of civilians in the occupied territories. In the rebuilding of that house participated Arab and Israeli volunteers of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD) alongside overseas volunteers.

ICAHD, a non-violent direct action group, was established for the purpose of resisting house demolitions by the State of Israel within the Green Line, in East Jerusalem and elsewhere in the West Bank. The group’s activists go well beyond the scopes of its title and extend their activity also to protests against land expropriations, settlement expansions, bypass roads construction, the closure and segregation policy, the uprooting of thousands of olive trees, etc. Data gathered by ICAHD reveal a reality in which The West Bank Palestinians cannot build on 60% of their own land and many Bedouin villages in the Negev and Galilee regions are unrecognized and earmarked for destruction and dispossession.

*Please note: the rebuilding of demolished houses is illegal. ICAHD calls for civil disobedience to “racist and nationalistic laws and inflicting harm on innocent parties.” Moreover, argue its members, “calling illegitimate actions a ‘law’ does not legitimize them.”