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THE BODY IN TIME AND SPACE

MICHAEL LAZAR meets SARI KHOURI




Freedom of movement. It is something that we all take for granted. Yet, throughout history and during recent times, different bodies have been refused this right due to race, religion or color. Jews were rounded up first in ghettos, which they could not leave at night and later in concentration camps, which stripped them of all human liberties. Segregation in the United States meant that African Americans could not go certain places, sit in certain areas or walk on certain streets reserved for white people. The same rules applied to apartheid South Africa. Even today, police in America are quick to shoot at a black man who finds himself in the "wrong" area at night. Although this can work both ways... This issue is especially relevant due to the serious issue of migrants as well as Trump's proposed wall to keep Mexicans out of America and Israel's policy with respect to the Palestinians. The proposed project seeks to examine how freedom of movement of a body changes from one place to the next within a continent, country or city; how hegemonic body structures vary, change and evolve from one area to the next; what parameters are responsible for these changes; and how the body reacts and deals with them. These include both external and internal controls.

Conversation partner: Sari Khoury

Sari is a Palestinian architect living in east Jerusalem, which is under disputed Israeli rule. In his home neighbourhood, he is unrestricted in his movements. I first met him in the old city of Jerusalem, where he showed me two projects he was working on. He was late for the initial meeting as he was held up at the Israeli army checkpoint – a place marking the line between where he is free to move about and where his movement is pre-defined. Once in Israel, he may be stopped at any second and asked for his papers and permission to be there. In Palestine, where he often works, he is once again free to move about unrestricted. It is this interplay of limitations, real or self-imposed, as one passes from one place to another that we will explore.


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