Friday, March 16, 2007

Face 2 Face:making faces, making peace


The high photographic concept of Face2Face, unleashed on the public by the undercover artists JR and Marco this month, already is drawing double takes and a few guffaws wherever in Israel or Palestine their huge posters are unfurled.

As a serious conflict resolution method, an exhibit that replaces big guns with outsized gurns is a bit naive and its impact will be tough to measure. But anything that brings the odd smile to these mean mixed streets is welcome indeed.

Black and white portraits of Palestinians and Israelis doing the same jobs are juxtoposed in huge formats, in "unavoidable places" around the Holy Land. It is an openhearted effort to point out the common humanity shared by the people here. The artists insist that they favor a 2-country solution where "Israel and Palestine would live peacefully within safe and internationally recognized borders."

The seed of the project took just a week to germinate, according to the artists' website. A documentary on its impact will follow soon.
"These people look the same; they speak almost the same language, like twin brothers raised in different families...A religious covered woman has her twin sister on the other side. A farmer, a taxi driver, a teacher, has his twin brother in front of him. And he is endlessly fighting with him.

It's obvious, but they don't see that.

We must put them face to face. They will realize."

Click on this link to see the portraits, and to appreciate the bold decision every one of these subjects took when agreeing to be photographed. Or if you live in the edgy areas, just go outside and open your eyes!

7 comments:

halogen Jen said...

Terrific exhibit

Dave said...

Although on the surface this seems silly and doomed to fail I think that if it causes one person on either side to pause and reflect on the humanity of their "enemies" then it is a success.

Grand Exalted Druid said...

Not one single person will look at these pics, have their views altered and say, "hmmmmm. . .I guess we are all humans and therefore deserving of life."

The pictures will be viewed through the lenses of prejudice just like every other perception we have.

The oblivious peaceniks will see worldwide joy. The zealous haters will see the laughing face of enemies waiting to be destroyed.

This is nothing more than another feel-good display of bullshit brotherly love.

The money is better spent on bullets.

"Pound not thy swords into plowshares as thy enemy shall descend upon thee even as thou soweth peace."

bagel boy said...

awww, lighten up Druid dude.
Most Middle Easterners have a sense of the ridiculous and some will laugh. Both Jews and Arabs
Bullets for whom? That's unhelpful.

"They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore."
Isaiah 2:4 and Micah 4:3

"Beat your plowshares into swords, and your pruninghooks into spears: let the weak say 'I am strong'."
Joel 3:10

Grand Exalted Druid said...

"Lighten up"?

Tell that to the families of suicide bomber victims.

Speak those words over the corpses left in the wake of racial genocide.

Use that trite comment to comfort those who lost loved ones on 9/11.

I'm sure that Poland abounded with a "sense of humor" just before the tanks rolled in.

It is pure hypocrisy to join hands and smile with those who want you dead.

Keep laughing, bagel boy.

Jody McAllister said...

quote: "Not one single person will look at these pics, have their views altered and say, "hmmmmm. . .I guess we are all humans and therefore deserving of life." "

You mock what you don't understand. It's okay, we all do it sometimes. You're right that it won't have the effect you describe, but that's not the point. The point is to try and inculcate a sense of humanity among those who come into visual contact. You can't argue that it won't have that effect, just like no one can argue that it will. We just have our gut instincts.

More bullets will only make things worse, but that's rather obvious. You're obviously not serious about wishing for peace in the region, but that's okay too.

Grand Exalted Druid said...

I fully understand the intended purpose of the display as you concede by agreeing with my point.

I feel, though, that it is a complete waste of time and energy.

Do you actually believe that the Arab world and Israel will ever live in harmony?

If you do, you are engaging in some seriously dangerous wishful thinking.

This is a conflict deeply rooted in violence. Foolish attempts to find a diplomatic solution only drag it out further and cause more innocents to suffer.

The decisive and aggresive application of force is the only path to resolution.

Anything else is delusional.