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Morning ritual: grind the beans, make the coffee, scan the news, download photos, sound bites, tweets. These downloads worm their way into my work.
During the Bush administration I discovered Baghdad Burning, a blog by a woman who went by the name Riverbend. She wrote from the perspective of a woman trying to maintain the semblance of a life while her city was being destroyed. She described having to prepare dinner early because there was no electricity from 6:00 pm to 6:00 am, how not being able to buy tomatoes meant they were bombing in the north and the trucks carrying tomatoes couldn’t get through, the many trips hauling water to keep a supply for emergencies. These personal details of everyday life communicated her reality in a way that no news article ever could.
This drawing is inspired by an image published by the UN documenting the demolition of Palestinian homes on the Palestinian West Bank and in East Jerusalem. Seventy-seven people were left homeless. The presence of a mattress amongst the debris reminded me of Riverbend’s narrative and the trauma of coping with displacement.