Yes, there is, especially in my series Promise Me a Land. In Israel and Palestine, everyone claims this land, and I wanted to know the landscapes that make up the collective identity of these people. I was looking for valleys, mountains, villages, and cities. In this white stone, this blue sky, this shining sun, this ochre earth, we return to the primary emotions. We have the impression of touching the real, the essential, the matter and the dust. I returned again in different seasons to watch the hills of the Judean Desert turn green, the summit of Mount Hermon whiten, and the curves of the Golan Heights turn yellow under the wheat.
The inhabitants also tell us about the space and the way it’s inhabited. The chance of the roads often led me to them. Whether it was in a green Kibbutz, under a Bedouin tent, in a small Palestinian village, on a parking lot, in a greenhouse or at the beach, etc. I was more and more interested in the people who live in this land, who have physical contact with its ‘hic et nunc’. They welcomed me and opened their door because I do not come to talk to them about conflict, war, and hatred. I asked them simple questions about their daily life, their dreams, promises, or disappointments. So they talked to me, often with very spontaneous words about the links that bind them to this soil. I photographed them, listened to them and recorded them.
These men are like the trees of this earth, they are deep-rooted; it is impossible to describe the landscape without meeting their gaze. They are the landscape; here to claim the land, wanting to cultivate it, protect it and own it. Whatever their past, they are there today, be they olive trees, eucalyptus, or young fir trees. It is difficult to find true unity in this Israeli-Palestinian identity. They all have a relationship, a story, and a different vision of their land. But all are part of the equation. Each one forms a small part of the puzzle that I collect piece by piece for my project.