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Border Crossings: From Palestine to Mexico

From our sister publication Art Practical today we bring you an article published in Issue 8.1: Art & Citizenship. Author Genevieve Quick considers Khaled Jarrar’s ongoing project Live and Work, which interrogates the borders between Palestine and Israel, and Mexico and the United States. Quick states, “As larger geopolitical issues are debated between international politicians, Jarrar uses art to enact seemingly small gestures that empower himself as an individual, resulting in a dialogue with the everyday.” This article was originally published November 10, 2016.

Khaled Jarrar. Khaled’s Ladder, 2016; made from parts of the Mexico/USA border. Courtesy of CULTURUNNERS.

Khaled Jarrar. Khaled’s Ladder, 2016; made from parts of the Mexico/USA border. Courtesy of CULTURUNNERS.

As a naturalized citizen, I have crossed international borders as an immigrant and a traveler. My passport verifies my citizenship, tracks my travel, and, as an American, grants me a largely unfettered freedom of movement around the world. For many of us, economic and time constraints may prevent travel, but for others—regardless of their merit, character, or intentions—their very citizenship is an obstacle to entering some countries. While the world’s increasing interconnectedness is widely celebrated, many countries have responded with strict immigration limits, bureaucratic hurdles, or the construction of physical walls.

Palestine’s status as a partially recognized or disputed country is subject to external governments that, in addition to other powers, can regulate the flow of people within the region and further abroad. Through performance and sculpture, artist Khaled Jarrar investigates the ways that passports and borders separate, define, and limit us. Provocatively, the artist also creates ways to transgress borders, breaking them down from the larger geopolitical apparatus into individually manageable acts. Emerging out of his own experience in Palestine, Jarrar’s practice has expanded to internationally site-specific projects that address global issues of migration and our shared concerns and struggles.

Read the full article here.