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An exhibition with Fazal Sheikh tracing the dispossessions and displacements of the Arab-Israeli War of 1948, and their impact on Palestinians, Bedouins, and Israelis

Values


Desert Bloom

A series of aerial photographs that reveal the myriad forces and actions that have blossomed to displace and erase the Bedouins who have lived in the desert for generations

Fields of Knowledge
  • Aesthetics / Media
  • Memory
  • Politics / Economics

Opens to public

02/12/2016

Desert Bloom traces the consequences of Ben-Gurion's dream of settling the Negev and making the "desert bloom." The aerial photographs that comprise this series reveal the myriad forces and actions that have blossomed to displace and erase the Bedouins who have lived in the desert for generations. We can view the transformation wrought on the landscape by erosion, mining projects, military training camps, the forced evacuation and demolition of "unrecognized" Bedouin villages, the afforestation efforts, the clearing and appropriation of the desert, and the expansion of settlements. What these remarkable photographs show is that the alteration and devastation of the Negev desert often has gone hand-in-hand with violence against the Bedouins. Viewed through the lens of Sheikh's camera the desert comes to us as a kind of archive of what has happened on its shifting surfaces, of what is hidden and sealed within its dunes, of all the efforts to use it to erase the traces of this long, often contradictory and violent history.

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Photographs from this series will be displayed at:

Slought
Philadelphia
March 22–May 1, 2016

Brooklyn Museum of Art
New York
February 12–June 5, 2016

Al-Ma'mal Center for Contemporary Art
East Jerusalem
April 13–May 20, 2016