Taysir Batniji

Gaza journal intime, 2001
Video, 4’50

Living between two countries and two cultures, Batniji's multimedia practice draws its inspiration from his subjective story and current events and history. His methods of approach always distance, divert, stretch, conceptualize or simply play with the initial subject. Therefore, in the end, offering a poetic and sometimes acrid point of view on reality.

Gaza diary is a recording exploring Batniji's relation to the spaces and sounds of his hometown, Gaza.

In 2001, during the second Intifada, Batniji returned home with the intent to stay indefinitely. However, in need to connect with the present, he started to capture and record his surroundings during his daily commutes, at home or during moments of flânerie. An activity he continued for over a year, of which the visual material gathered eventually took the form of a diary.

The idea to turn it into a video came later. That is when Batniji decided to turn his videos into still images, each lasting 6-7 seconds, during which one only hears the surrounding noises. The stillness in the images reflects the near-paralysis experienced when living under occupation in Palestine. This semi-paralyzed life is often disrupted by violent blows (Israeli bombardments, assassinations and incursions by the Israeli army), characterised by scenes of the butcher chopping meat at the slaughterhouse - symbolically cutting the still images documenting life in Gaza.