Sansour’s Controversy over The Nation Estate

These days Larissa Sansour’s continued efforts to express the reality and complexity of life in Palestine seems to have met with extreme opposition in the form of censorship.

The Nation Estate project is a sci-fi photo series conceived in the wake of the Palestinian bid for nationhood at the UN. Three preliminary sketches have been developed especially for the Lacoste Elys̩e Prize 2011 Рan award I was nominated for until Lacoste decided to censor my work and revoke my nomination.

Set within a grim piece of hi-tech architecture, this narrative photo series envisions ‘la joie de vivre’ of a Palestinian state rising from the ashes of the peace process.

In this dystopic vision, Palestinians have their state in the form of a single skyscraper: the Nation Estate. Surrounded by a concrete wall, this colossal hi-rise houses the entire Palestinian population – finally living the high life. Each city has its own floor: Jerusalem, third floor; Ramallah, fourth floor. Intercity trips previously marred by checkpoints are now made by elevator.

Aiming for a sense of belonging, the lobby of each floor reenacts iconic squares and landmarks – elevator doors on the Jerusalem floor opening onto a full-scale Dome of the Rock. Built ouside the actual city of Jerusalem, the building also has views of the original golden dome from the top floors.

The Nation Estate project consists of 8-10 large-format photos. It is scheduled for production in early 2012.

In addition to the photo series, a sci-fi video version of Nation Estate is currently in production

Born in Jerusalem, Sansour studied Fine Art in Copenhagen, London and New York. Her work is interdisciplinary, immersed in the current political dialogue and utilises video art, photography, experimental documentary, the book form and the internet.

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Author:WHOAMagazine

www.whoamagazine.co

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