Anti Mapping / with Miki Kratsman

Al-Jammama, Position: 31°29’51"N 34°41’7"E, Altitude: 164.2 m, Timestamp: 17.12.2018 – 13:27

Anti-Mapping is an ongoing project with the aim to continuously map and produce geographical documentation as alternatives to the maps presented by the establishment and thus bypassing the different restrictions of visibility enforced by the Israeli government. While worldwide aerial photography is available to the public at a resolution of 0.5m/pixel, in Israel the resolution is restricted to 2.5m/pixel. By using drone photography and photogrammetry techniques, we can produce a resolution of 1cm/pixel. Through the tool of aerial photography, made from the bottom-up, the project enables the reappearance of those absent geographies. Those are the geographies of the victim, the ones no longer there. Our actions can be limited to a single pointing at the emptiness, to represent those absent. The aerial photography techniques are used merely as the vehicle and testing ground for these strategies of representation.

al-Burj, Position: 31°54’9”N 35°1’14”E, Altitude: 276.6 m, Timestamp: 27.10.2018 - 10:15

Our project follows a few of the remains of about 400 Palestinian villages destroyed during the Nakba of 1948, whose population either fled or were expelled by Israeli military forces. The existence and presence of this past world were visually erased from the Israeli landscape and consciousness. The locations of those villages were subject to forestation, resettlement of Jewish immigrants, militarization, and more. Names were changed, and the locations of those places were erased from maps. The resolution limit that Israeli aerial photography is subject to, does not allow gathering geographical information on those places, which further obstructs the ability to document their history.

al-'Araqib, Position: 31°20'42" N 34°46'52" E, Altitude: 376.5 m, Timestamp: 28.7.2018 - 14:27

The unrecognized Bedouin villages are scattered throughout the Negev/Naqab desert area and are referred to by the State of Israel as “diaspora” and “illegal settlements”. Among these villages are historical ones that predate the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948. Other villages consist of the previously displaced population (“internally displaced”), from the 1950s, and are now facing further displacement. Their first displacement took place as the State of Israel started to concentrate the Arab Bedouins population in the Sayag area – a territory between the cities Beer Sheva, Arad, and Dimona. A military rule was imposed on the population and much of the land in the Negev was declared state lands following the Planning and Construction legislation in 1965.

Under that law, much of the land was converted for agricultural use and therefore all houses and buildings that existed on these lands, most of them part of Bedouin villages, automatically became “illegal buildings”. To this day, non of those villages, either historical or newer, are recognized by the State of Israel. Their residents get very little governmental services, and no infrastructure, education, or healthcare.

Anti-Mapping: Khan al-Ahmar, with Miki Kratsman. Angle issue 24, Multipress, Norway. Curated by Hester Keiser

Khan al-Ahmar, Position: 31°48’42"N 35°20’21"E, Altitude: 236.4 m, Timestamp: 25.6.2018 – 12:20

Khan al-Ahmar cosists of twelve Palestinian communities with a total population of about 1,400 residents. These communities are scattered on either side of the Jerusalem-Jericho road, east of the industrial zone of the Ma’ale Adumim settlement. Residents of these communities have very few sources of income, suffer a serious lack of health, education and welfare services, and live without basic infrastructure such as an electricity network, a sewage system and proper roads. One of these communities is known as the Khan al-Ahmar School community. Its members belong to the Jahalin Bedouin tribe, originally from Tel Arad in the Negev desert, from where they were expelled by the Israeli military in the 1950s. After the initial expulsion, members of the community leased land for residential purposes and for herding in the area where the settlement of Kfar Adumim is now located. They resettled in their current location after they were expelled from there, too.

As of this writing, the Khan al-Ahmar School community face an imminent threat of another expulsion and relocation by Israeli authorities.

Anti-Mapping at Tel Aviv Museum of Art, March - October 2021

Anti-Mapping / Case: Khan al-Ahmar, Case: Nakba & The Green Line, Case: Unrecognized Bedouin Villages, Case: Urban Combat Training Centers. With Miki Kratsman. Produced for ‘Visual Rights’ at Open Eye Gallery, Liverpool.