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Aissa Deebi

Exile Within
“The exile knows that in a secular and contingent world, homes are always provisional. Borders and barriers, which enclose us within the safety of familiar territory, can also become prisons, and are often defended beyond reason on necessity, exiles cross borders, barriers of thought and experience.”
—Edward Said, Reflection of Exile, 1992

I come from the background of a Palestinian born within the already established state of Israel. As with all Palestinians, I form part of the cultural and racial minority that is treated with suspicion and discrimination. I will always belong on the fringe of the dominant society rather than participating and benefiting in full as other “Israelis.” This sense of displacement from home provides the theme for much of my more recent artwork.

As an artist with such a complex identity, “Aissa, male, Christian, Arab, Palestinian,” I think that discovering my own identity doesn’t mean that you work it out, in isolation, but that I negotiate it through dialogue with others. This cultural meeting “Exile” will give me a chance to discuss my relationship with the “Other” aiming to produce artwork investigating the theme of exile as a local-global concept. I have an interest in constructive photography video art, and computer manipulated images. I produced a series of photographing and scanning soldier toys that combines text, drawings and video in an installation that examines the acute and often painful contrast felt by many “EXILES WITHIN,” between the world of external events and personal and interior space.