On our recent trip to Israel we met up with the Tel-Aviv based new media artists OMER & TAL GOLAN to speak with them about their current project WALLS BETWEEN US. A site-specific multi-media installation with live musical collaboration between Israeli and Palestinian musicians, which is to take place at The Separation Wall in Abu Dis, Jerusalem.
In December 2000, while completely his military service, Omer was severely injured in a terrorist attack, when a suicide bomber hugged him from behind, blowing himself up. Since then Omer, together with his wife Tal, has continually sought to deal with the conflict, as well as with his own emotional trauma, through their work. In this way, Walls Between Us not only represents an incredible mental challenge for the artist put is also an example of the strong belief shared by many Israeli artists, in the importance of using art to engage with the issues surrounding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in a way which initiates a dialogue beyond politics in order to communicate on a human level.
Omer Golan: "Walls Between Us refers to the separation Wall between Israel and the West Bank. The Security Wall is 8 meters high and is planned to be 790km long. The Wall crosses the country and its population, not only in a physical sense but also socially, it blocks the natural, cultural and creative space. The Wall, despite its security reasoning, is a barrier to the idea of freedom and any unity among the people between whom it stands." The project relies inherently on the collaboration between the two sides which means the artists have come up against a number of complications and challenges, largely owing to the Palestinian cultural boycott of Israel. They are planning however for the installation to go ahead within the next few months.