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Radical Closure, Program 3: At the Border

Border situations have inspired writers, artists and filmmakers, particularly within the context of divisions and border control within the Middle East. Who draws the borders? What are the effects of imposing them, of imposing checkpoints? This program looks at border situations. In the works presented here, we take a close look at the lines of demarcation, observing what happens on borders in divided Lefkosia (Nicosia), the occupied territories in Palestine, and at the excavation of the site of a former border in Lebanon which no longer exists.

For a further examination of work which evokes the theme of this program, it is worth seeking out Tawfiq Saleh’s feature The Dupes (1972), about Palestinian refugees in Iraq who die while attempting to cross the border into Kuwait, traveling inside a metal water tank through the desert.

# Title Artists Run Time Year Country
1 Grossraum (Borders of Europe): Lefkosia Lonnie van Brummelen 00:13:30 2005 Cyprus, Netherlands
2 Detail Avi Mograbi 00:08:10 2004 Israel
3 Chic Point: Fashion for Israeli Checkpoints Sharif Waked 00:07:00 2003 Israel, Palestinian Territories
4 In This House Akram Zaatari 00:30:00 2005 Lebanon

Grossraum (Borders of Europe): Lefkosia

Lonnie van Brummelen
2005 | 00:13:30 | Cyprus, Netherlands | None | Color | Silent | | 35mm film


The third in a film triptych, Lefkosia was shot from within UN controlled territory on the border between south Cyprus and the Turkish occupied North. Like the previous two parts, this episode explores the landscape’s composition along the current borders of Europe. It presents a silent camera traveling along a heavily guarded border, where even photography is forbidden without permission.

This title is only available on Radical Closure.


Avi Mograbi
2004 | 00:08:10 | Israel | None | Color | Stereo | |


Detail is indeed a detail. It is an excerpt from Mograbi’s feature film Avenge But One of My Two Eyes, where human conditions face military situations. This is a detail of the reality as lived by Palestinians and Israelis daily in Israel and the Occupied Territories. This “detail” is what makes life unbearable.

This title is only available on Radical Closure.

Chic Point: Fashion for Israeli Checkpoints

Sharif Waked
2003 | 00:07:00 | Israel, Palestinian Territories | None | Color | Stereo | 4:3 | Video


Chic Point was shot in a fictional location: the occupied catwalk. Employing all the elements of a fashion show, models reveal their abdomens in outfits designed especially to suit Israeli checkpoints. For Israelis in the present time, the individual Palestinian body is the most dangerous weapon there is, and it is therefore the subject of ongoing and humiliating surveillance.

This title is only available on Radical Closure.

In This House

Akram Zaatari
2005 | 00:30:00 | Lebanon | Arabic | Color | Mono | 4:3 | Video


Following the Israeli withdrawal from Ain el Mir in 1985, the village became the frontline. The Dagher family was displaced from their home, which was occupied by a radical resistance group for seven years. When the war ended in 1991, Ali Hashisho, a member of the Lebanese resistance stationed in the Dagher family house, wrote a letter to them justifying his occupation there, and welcoming them back home. He placed the letter inside the empty case of a B-10, 82mm mortar, and buried it in the garden. In November 2002, Akram Zaatari headed to Ain el Mir to excavate Ali's letter.

This title is also available on Radical Closure.