The Houses

The houses are a series of one-year theatrical events that accompany the repeated demolition and rebuilding of the Bedouin village of Al-Araqib. The village redefines the concept of Sumud- a peaceful form of resistance which means “steadfast perseverance”, despite Israel's acts of ethnic cleansing as it attempts to expel the Bedouin from their rightful land for the purpose of “Judaization” of the Negev.

Each "house" carries a different character and focuses on a different theme. The numbers refer to the number of houses demolished at the time the work was staged.

House 113, A Lesson in Political Construction, 2017

Together with Azez A-Turi

The most important moments in the life of a house are the moments of its construction and demolition. The state is involved and carries influence at both these moments - construction occurs with license from the state or as an act of dissent, and demolition, with all the violence it entails, is also controlled and often implemented by the state.

 

Azez a-Turi is the best builder in Al-Araqib. He can build with remarkable speed, a skill acquired by building and rebuilding his own house hundreds of times after it was repeatedly demolished by the state. Now, following a court order prohibiting him from participating in the rebuilding of demolished homes in his village A-Turi will instead come to the theatre to rebuild his home for the 113th time, providing the audience with a lesson in building a house. Through the act of construction the audience will learn the story of Al-Araqib, a village in the Israeli Negev that until today has been demolished and rebuilt 112 times, and has become a symbol of the Bedouin struggle for recognition of their right on their land.

photos by: David Kaplan

House 139, Salute to the prisoner of conscience Sheikh Sayah Abu Madi'am, 2018

Together with Azez A-Turi

The state's struggle against the village sharpened as Sheikh Siyah Abu Madi'am, the leader of the struggle, went into prison on charges of trespassing on his own land. This event began with the kids of Araqib building their house on stage. When finishing a video message of the Sheikh, their grandfather, now in prison, was screened on the house. The event featured a theatrical reading from the absurd protocols of the Sheikh's trial and screening of the short film “Our life” directed by Sabah Abu Madi’am documenting the daily life in the village in the shade of the demolitions.

photos by: David Kaplan

House 171, Al Arakib resistance Museum, 2020

Together with Azez A-Turi and Nitzan Cohen

Why make a struggle museum, when the struggle is still underway?   When the struggle is yet ongoing? 

Many museums teach us about other cultures as they display stolen treasures from distant places. This museum showcase Israel’s culture of oppression, and the resistance of the villagers. 

Al Araqib's struggle for their homes is a courageous act of nonviolent resistance. It is a struggle for the home, the right to live on one’s land, against oppression, aggression and dispossession.

photos by: David Kaplan