Whether state-sponsored barriers mark the limits of India-Bangladesh, Uzbekistan-Kyrgyzstan, Saudi Arabia-Yemen, Egypt-Israel, U.S-Mexico, India-Pakistan, or divide the same city, in the case of Baghdad and Jerusalem, walls, blocks and fences are the concrete reality of our segregated world today, the age of nation-states. Whatever the official narrative may be behind these walls–targeting real or imagined threats–it is crucial that the face of the geographical and human landscapes that they forever transform not remain in the dark.
What do these barriers articulate? Lines of national identity, or its demise? A state of law and order, or a condition of chaos and ungovernability? Symbol of a secure nation, or a concrete manifestation of political anxiety? National sovereignty or policies and politics of apartheid? Such physical barriers are perhaps most visible in Palestine, tearing the landscape apart alongside racial lines, wishing to contain and tame a landscape and its people. Regardless of how much one theorizes about walls, they tend to tell their own story, a much more compelling narrative. Let’s listen:
Photographs were taken by the author in the summer 2013 in the West Bank.
En español , leen mi ensayo sobre la politica y las politicas de segregación en Palestina.