0451 was chosen from thousands of photographs that were just as
inadequate in describing the conditions of war, and just as banal
as living under war actually is. It is a fairly ordinary picture
of “normal” things people do to each other in times
of war and repression.
This image was taken a few months ago by a young Israeli photojournalist
named Albert Sadikov. It shows Palestinian prisoners being led to
an Israeli military base near the Gaza Strip, against the backdrop
of the Separation Barrier still being build between the two countries.
However, this image is typical not just of the Israeli occupation,
but of war and military oppression around the world. It is not much
different from the goings-on in Iraq, in Darfur, in Mexico, in Somalia,
and in so many other places.
In this image, the prisoners are handcuffed with zipties and blindfolded
with flannel strips used to clean rifles, common materials that
I, too, used when I was a soldier in the Israeli Army. A decade
since my military experience, I have invited nine artists to contemplate
and think about war and oppression, using this photograph as a shared
source of inspiration.