The project depicts the issue of “Present Absentees” or Internally Displaced Persons (IDP’s) Palestinians in Israel. The project was created during an Artist’s Residency at Umm El Fahem Gallery. Local residents were invited to a photo shoot in which their photographs were taken against the background of historical photos of Al-Lajoun – a nearby village where they or their ancestors were born. The houses and the land of the village were confiscated by the state after 1948 and the village was destroyed shortly after. The land and some of the surviving buildings belong today to the Jewish National Fund (KKL) and is used as a park. Other parts of the village land were given to Kibbutz Megido. In the last decade, the original residents of El Lajun have been trying to negotiate as well as start legal cases, aimed at getting back some of the lands that were taken. The project is part of the exhibition Cry, the beloved country in P21 Gallery, London.
Dr. Gil Mualem-Doron (1970 UK/Israel) is an award-wining socially and politically engaged artist working in various media; primarily photography, digital art, installation and performance using participatory practices. His work investigates issues such as urban history, social justice, identity, transcultural aesthetics, migrations and displacement.
His work has been exhibited extensively in the UK and abroad including Tate Modern, the Turner Contemporary, Liverpool Museum, People’s History Museum, Rich Mix London, ONCA (Brighton) Haifa Museum of Art (Israel), East66 – Centre for Urban Research (Amsterdam).
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