From the Nakba of 1948, Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory has rendered it a space of hereditary sitelessness. A land stripped of dignity, sovereignty, voice, vision. The brutal conditions of this occupation (read: apartheid) and the hundred year precarity of an already persecuted Palestinian population will assuredly be exacerbated by Netanyahu’s proposed annexation of the West Bank, which (with US backing) will begin to be implemented July 1, 2020.
Confronting the weight and measure of Netanyahu’s intentions, Nobody Owns The Sea recodes the history of Palestinian dispossession and recenters the ethnographic gaze from both a decolonial historical and visual perspective. Alicia Mersy eyes a parallax view of the West Bank, one where Israeli sentry towers and panoptic surveillance technology can only feign strength and control over a landscape extracted of its own devices. The fundamental human truths of this nominally political situation are made plainly apparent by the nephews of Marwan Barghouti, who lament the politicization of their natural landscape. A truth exemplified by the beach that lies just 25km from their village that they cannot visit, and can only see when the horizon is clear.
Nobody Owns The Sea was presented alongside Alicia Mersy's photographs from the West Bank, digital illustrations made from that material, and correspondence with her collaborators.