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Shilpa Gupta | India

100 Hand drawn Maps, 2010

Pen on paper
39 / 48 cm,
edition of 3 + 1 AP

Courtesy of Dvir Gallery, Tel Aviv

A state needs a border that is recognized and agreed, otherwise it condemns itself to generations of conflict. One of the sources of the disasters that rocked Europe in the 20th century was the fact that the campaign for unification of German – not merely in the political sense, but at the cultural level too – dragged on for a hundred years, at the termination of which the most powerful state in the heart of the continent lacked borders perceived in its own eyes as final.

Most of the recognized borders in the Western world are political boundaries, frequently fortuitous, the outcome of wars and conflicts that at some stage had to be put to an end. That is so not only for the borders of Poland and Germany to East and West, but also for the lines dividing Switzerland from Italy, France from all of its neighbours, and Belgium from Holland. That also holds for the borders of the United States with Canada and Mexico. In Western Europe, borders slice through populations of the same cultural and ethnic identity, and speaking the same language.

These are artificial borders which exist by virtue of recognition, which must not be queried, because they serve the common good of all. These areas too were fought over in the past.

…Historical right per se does not justify incessant bloodshed; furthermore, the Palestinians too have historic rights and natural rights to freedom and independence. Riding roughshod over these rights will ultimately shunt Israel off onto the sidelines of the Western world, jeopardizing its own genuine interests.

Ze’ev Sternhal, Common Ground website, 2006