2013, 2 channel film installation
In 1994 the Palestinian Authority was formed through the Oslo Accords,
and the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities was created. The Palestinian Authority
actively promotes tourism as a form of resistance of the Israeli occupation;
the millions of visitors who pass through them every year come with the potential to witness the occupation and leave with an altered understanding of Palestinian identity. The promotion of Palestinian
heritage is of deep significance to the people; with no formal museum of
Palestinian history, the maintenance of pre-1948 tradition and identity through other means is socially encouraged.
This work reflects on the orientalism inherent in tourism, whilst exploring the subversion of it as a form of resistance. The films are made in the Church of the Nativity, Bethlehem, in the Palestinian West Bank. This is the primary tourist destination under the Palestinian Authority. The performers both dressed in these historical costumes, local to Bethlehem specifically, to advertise a cultural festival. The camera was placed on a tripod by the entrance to the church, and then left to run.
Joy Stacey is a lens-based artist and researcher living and working in
Brighton, UK. Her work and research explores the visual representation
of those lacking political representation. She is a PhD candidate at the
University of Sussex with an AHRC Studentship.