Common Ground, 2013

In Common Ground, I set out to explore the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through the lens of difference, but instead found myself seeing these communities’ cultural and historical commonalities. Most of all, I had a sense of being embedded, even stuck, amid the echoes of the past.

While I was in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories, my lens often returned to a horizontal fence made of metal and wire that was suspended over the Palestinian commercial district in Hebron to catch debris thrown down by Jewish settlers living above. Although the fence took on distinct functions within each community, protecting the Palestinian commercial district below, and functioning as a dumping ground for the Israeli district above, it served as a common visual reference point as I navigated both communities. Combining these photographs with others taken on either side of the barrier wall, I constructed images that raise questions about the nature of borders in physical space and the role of history and fear within these cultural and political tensions.