Keep Your Eye on the Wall
Edited by Mitchell Albert, Olivia Snaije
Foreword by Raja Shehadeh
About the Book
In art and literature, walls are frequently used as powerful symbols of division. For the people of Palestine, however, the wall that cuts deeply into their land and society is all too real, snaking through over 700 kilometres of the West Bank and Gaza. It throttles Palestinians, seals off Israelis, and all but guarantees perpetual ignorance, fear and rage on both sides.
Keep Your Eye on the Wall brings together seven award-winning artist-photographers and four essayists, all responding to the Wall in images or words. The photographers present unique perspectives, whether it is documenting the journey of labourers across the concrete separation barrier, or exploring the layers and textures of a wall in Gaza.
Informed, critical and powerful, the photographs constitute, in the words of French philosopher of art Georges Didi-Huberman, ‘a space for struggle’.
Exceptional, hand-bound concertina, making Keep Your Eye on the Wall a beautiful object and a special gift item.
About the Contributors
Mitchell Albert is a London-based editor. Since 2002 he has worked as a commissioning editor for non-fiction and fiction books, as a freelance book and magazine editor, and as a programme manager overseeing literary events. From 2007–11 he edited the literary journal of PEN International. Many of the projects in which he has been involved have had the Middle East as their main subject.
Olivia Snaije is a Paris-based journalist and editor. She has worked for various newspapers and magazines, and as a book commissioning editor for a publishing company and has contributed to, written, and translated several books, as well as co-editing Keep Your Eye on the Wall: Palestinian Landscapes. She is the former executive editor of Alef, a London-based culture magazine about the Middle East, and was Editor-in-Chief of World Media in Paris, a magazine published by a group of twenty-six newspapers worldwide. The Middle East has been the primary focus of her work for the past twenty years.
‘Shockingly beautiful and evocative … the artists echo the feelings of Palestinians who have to make do with life in a divided, disfigured land’ Raja Shehadeh
'A beautifully balanced combination of visual and textual explorations of the wall as a physical and psychological barrier ... the possible benefits and pitfalls of incorporating the wall into artistic production are tackled head-on ... While art certainly can beautify, it can also serve as a vehicle to expose a truth, provoke a new perspective in the viewer, pose questions, document events, educate or tell a story. The photographs in Keep Your Eye on the Wall do all this and more ... Whatever your take on the dangers or benefits of art inspired by the wall, this is a beautiful book, balancing insightful, thought-provoking writing with a wonderful and varied selection of photographs by some of Palestine’s most talented artists.' Daily Star Lebanon
'Seven artist-photographers and four essayists searingly present the wall in pictures and text, in a beautiful accordion bound book, that like the wall, extends in a long line from beginning to end ... One can only hope that this wall will someday fall and the disputed areas will be peacefully reconciled to the advantage of both sides. This book embodies that hope.' Publishers Weekly
‘Stunning testimony’ The Booklist Reader