WALL and PEACE (Steidl Fall 2019)
Prospects of Concrete Politics 2003 – 2018
The settlement of Har Homa between Jerusalem and Bethlehem. The hill with the only wood in the area expropriated from Palestinian, Jewish landowners as well as the Greek Orthodoxe Church in 1995. The settlement was approved by Simon Peres and executed by Benjamin Netanyahu in 1997. A UN resolution against the settlement was vetoed by the the US Government. Occupied Palestinian Territories, November 2018.
A madonna painted on the separation wall next to the entrance checkpoint of Bethlehem. Soldiers regulary erase graffity which is painted next to the checkpoint though the icon wasn´t painted over. Occupied Palestinain Territories, January 2018.
A watch tower of the separation wall in the Dahia al-Bareed in al-Ram / East Jerusalem next to a checkpoint. Occupied Palestinian Territories, January 2018.
A decorated piece of the wall next to the Mount of Olives. The Israeli government made experiments to blend the wall better in its surroundings. Jerusalem, Occupied Palestinian Territories, November 2016.
The village of Burji next to he separation in the south-western part of the Westbank.. Occupied Palestinian Territories, November 2018.
A destroyed house in the neighborhood of Abu Dis. The family is still living in the home. They received a permit from the Palestinain Authorities to add two stories to their existing house. After they built them these were destroyed by the Israeli Authorities. The building across the wall was a hotel which was occupied by the Israeli border patrol. The Palestinian owner has no access to his property anymore. Jerusalem, Occupied Palestinian Territories, November 2016.
Grafitty next to Rachel Tomb in Bethlehem. The Israeli government built a wall to inccoperate the tomb into Jerusalem, cutting through Bethlehem. Occupied Palestinian Territories, November 2016.
The village of Al-Khadr next to a bypass road 60 for Israeli settlers. Occupied Palestinian Territories, November 2018.
Advertisement board on the wall in al-Ram / East Jerusalem. Occupied Palestinian Territories, November 2018.
Sportsfield next to the wall in Abu Dis / East Jerusalem. Occupied Palestinian Territories, November 2018.
Separation in the neighborhood of Abu Dis in East-Jerusalem. People smashed holes into the wall to get through. The Israeli army reinforced the wall with an additional layer of concrete. Occupied Palestinian Territories, January 2018.
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Good fences make good neighbours people say but in reality they usually make real enemies. Peace starts where walls fall and not where they are erected – the Berlin Wall is the best proof for that says photographer Kai Wiedenhöfer who is based in the German capital. Between 2003 and 2018 he made ten journeys to Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories to document fences, walls and checkpoints of the separation barrier which the Israeli governments is still building.
From his experience of photographing the Israeli – Palestinian conflict over tree decades, the barrier worsens the problems in the Holy Land. The wall itself cements the assumed righteousness of the Israelis and is an aggression against the Palestinians who are caged in and become more frustrated. The paradox of the wall: It enhances the violence is supposed to curb. That creates the necessity for more policing and fortification – nonetheless the wall is regarded as a guardian of order, peace and stability.