The works depict the issue of “Present Absentees” or Internally displaced persons (IDP’s) in Israel created through a socially engaged photography project. “Present Absentees” project is also a meditation on the im/possibility of the presence, presentation and possibility in a medium which is alway of representation and of what comes to pass.
The project was created during an Artist’s Residency at Umm El Fahem Gallery, Israel. Most of the residents of this town are IDP from the village of Al-Lajoun.
The project was chosen to be exhibited in Edut Mekomit / Local Testimony 2019 – the regional photojournalism exhibition for photographers from Israel and the Palestinian Authority, held every year since 2003 in the Eretz Israel Museum. It will also be part of a solo exhibition at Umm El Fahem Gallery in 2020.
Present Absentees are Palestinians who fled or were expelled from their home in Mandatory Palestine by Jewish or Israeli forces, before and during the 1948 Arab-Israeli war, but who remained within the area that became the state of Israel. They are regarded as absent by the Israeli government because they were absent from their homes on a particular day, even if they did not intend to leave them for more than a few days, and even if they left involuntarily. IDPs homes, property and lands were seized by Israel. 274,000 Arab citizens of Israel (1 out of 4) are IDP.