Emily Jacir splits her time between Ramallah, West Bank and New York City. Her refugee tent, rough and utilitarian, refers to the depopulation of Palestine in both a historical and a contemporary context. To this day, these refugee tents are easily seen in the camps in Gaza, where Israeli tanks and bulldozers regularly demolish Palestinian homes. The embroidery of the names of the villages destroyed was a collaborative effort. Crossing Surda is a document of Jacir’s experiences, some banal, some harrowing, of crossing the militarized Surda checkpoint that separates Ramallah where she lives from Birzeit University where she works.
Education. Whitney Independent Study Program, NYC
MFA, Memphis College of Art, Memphis, TN
BA, Art, University of Dallas, Irving, TX
Lives in Ramallah, West Bank, Palestine and New York, NY, USA.
Memorial to 418 Palestinian Villages which were Destroyed, Depopulated, and Occupied by Israel in 1948.
For two months, I opened my studio to anyone who wanted to sew with me on this Memorial. Over 140 people came, the majority of them I had never met before. They came as lawyers, bankers, filmmakers, dentists, consultants, musicians, playwrights, artists, human rights activists, teachers, etcetera. They came as Palestinians (some of whom come from these villages), as Israelis (who grew up on the remains of these villages) and people from a multitude of countries.
Emily Jacir and Anton Sinkewich, “Untitled”, selected books on or about Palestine or by Palestinian authors, 2003, dimensions vary
Emily Jacir, “Crossing Surda” (a record of going to and from work), video installation, 2003
Emily Jacir, “Memorial to 418 Palestinian Villages Which Were Destroyed”, Depopulated and Occupied by Israel in 1948 Refugee tent and embroidery thread, 138″ x 115″ x 96″, 2001