You may remember Palestinian artist Khaled Jarrar’s work. Much of it is about or made of the Israeli cement wall in the West Bank (part of the land, air, and sea blockade the Gaza strip blockade). Jarrar was on show last year at P21 Gallery and the Ayyam Gallery for example in London.
This week he was denied exit from Palestine by Isreali officials on Sunday
Made from the Apartheid Wall in West Bank
13 July. As a result he cannot attend his upcoming group show Here and Elsewhere at the New Museum from July 16, or his solo show at Whitebox Art Center from July 24th which has been renamed to “No Exit”. He will conduct a live Skype chat July 24th as part of the show. However while he realises that his is not the most important issue of the moment, the experience has prompted him to speak of the wider Palestinian experience, from the perspective of someone working in a global industry, which requires travel and accessibility. Here’s his report:
‘”ZE ZEVEL” – That means, “he is garbage!” When I was trying to cross Allenby Bridge as usual, I heard one soldier say this to his superior officer, while they were arguing about me in Hebrew. That was the only word that I could understand from their discussion. Allenby Bridge is my only gate to the world. Amman is the only place from where I can fly to the world. Yesterday I was denied exit from the West Bank. I was surprised, because never before did the Israelis prevent me from traveling. I was shocked that I was sent back and couldn’t cross Allenby Bridge. People tried to help me and reached out to the authorities. Everything was checked, but after a very long wait and without understanding what was happening, I was informed “security reasons” would prevent me from traveling until the 1st of August. For now that means that I missed my morning flight from Amman to New York, that I will miss the opening of the show at the New Museum, and that I will miss the artist talk with Lamia Joreige and Charif Kiwan that is supposed to happen on the 16th of July.
Yesterday was the longest day of my life and a day of humiliation. I felt real racism on the part of the security at Allenby Bridge. When this one soldier was talking to his superior officer and I understood what he said (“ze zevel”), I shouted at him that I was no “zevel” and he was impolite to call me that. No one listened to me, like I did not even exist. It’s a long story and it’s the story of many people who are being denied from crossing Allenby Bridge for security reasons by order of the Israeli intelligence. On the day that I wanted to cross, it meant that I missed my flight to the USA, my first time traveling there, and my show. Another man, a PhD student, missed his flight to give a talk in Spain. Another man wanted to go to Amman to spend the last days of Ramadan and Eid al-Fitr with his family, but he was not allowed
Khaled Jarrar speaking from Ramallah 14 July