Mary Fitz residency in Ramallah city in the West Bank

kalandia-earth42.jpgMany of you will know Mary Fitz and marvelled at how she brings back amazing photographs from some of the most difficult places. She is currently in the West Bank and sends us this fascinating report…

Hello from a residency programme in Ramallah city in the West Bank,

I’m out here doing a brief residency at an arts and cultural centre here called Al Qattan Foundation for the past month. I travelled from Tel Aviv through to Jerusalem and then from Damascus gate to Ramallah. Attached is a picture taken from some work I’ve been doing at the Kalandia checkpoint which is the main Israeli checkpoint as you come into Ramallah. I went to a great exhibition there the other day by a photographer called Khaled Jarrar who hangs the show just for a day on the fence as you come in the checkpoint area. He hands out the invites in the cafes and around the town and people come down to the checkpoint to see the work. Its a really brilliant spontaneous idea I think.

Essentially, I came with the aim of initiating and developing an art project here along similar themes to my previous work in the Middle East. However, I am very conscious of the over representation photographically by outsiders of this place and the relentless negative representations. Daily life goes on here despite circumstances. I am trying to make even quieter work on the issues of land and conflict and I cannot get the Seamus Heaney line out my head “Smoke-signals are loud-mouthed compared with us