We Used to Fly on Water 2014

How did we become invisible?

Since the year 2000 until now, some families in the Gaza Strip have adopted the profession of tunnel-digging on the borders with Egypt. This profession is considered to be a quest for life by the people of the besieged Gaza Strip. As a result, *necessity knows no law* but it is also a way paved with danger, as everything comes with a price. This is a new profession that was previously unfamiliar to people living in the Gaza Strip. However, given the current circumstances, it has become an alternative, and a multi-purpose, multi-intentioned and fundamental way of life, providing inhabitants in the Gaza Strip with humanitarian and basic needs such as medical treatment, food and goods...It represents, on the other hand, a new tool to break the suffocating isolation that is imposed, humanly and economically, on the Gaza Strip. It also reflects their claim and the urgent need to gain the right to freedom of movement and to travel as a fundamental and human right to Palestinian citizens who should be enjoying it as legislated by the Human Rights Organization. In this context, my thought is to shed light on the human aspect of the “invisible travel” concept or the secret mobility from and to one’s country of origin under the cover of an oppressing darkness and narrowness spreading into these human passageways in which I travel through my eyes, focusing on the symbolic dimension conveyed to the viewer and aiming at turning individual narrative into a collective participation with which one could interact. I also try to transform it into live images that depict the essence of forbidden travel, done in total secrecy, bringing to mind the importance of the right to travel among all human rights. This right ought to be naturally and openly enjoyed because it is the expression of a borders, gates and points crossing process. Consequently, I have chosen 10 identical copies representing a recurrent element which is a life-size travel suitcase, made of white steel, horizontally lined up and stuck one to another. They are fixed to the showroom’s floor with a hollow and dark internal depth, conveying the loneliness and the terrible cold that engulf those narrow and unsafe passages. They also symbolize a reconstruction in the void of my concept in its form, composition and new substance; the concept that I saw fit for the shape of this tunnel and a symbolic perception about the idea of unseen traveling and its tools. In response to historical issues that tackle the past of Palestine which was culturally and economically developed since the year 1930, I will add to my work an introduction of this “Absent presence”, along with the narrative, by presenting an archival photography from the year 1930 showing an amphibious aircraft in the city of Acre, with a silkscreen print on which one could read “We used to fly on water”, in order to link the past to the present, to show the contradiction between yesterday and today’s history and to reformulate it in the perspective of the eternal questions on what lies behind memory.