13 Live Bullets
September 14-October 12, 2001
13 Live Bullets is a memory installation for the thirteen Palestinians, citizens of Israel, who were shot to death in October 2000 during clashes with the police.
Either hung or placed on shelves in the space are youthful images of the dead, family photos, school diplomas and certificates of merit, personal diaries, photos taken at the places where they were shot, medical records, hospital documents, calendars and posters perpetuating them as youngsters.
During the work process, Shula Keshet met with the families of the victims. The making of the exhibition was accompanied by students of the curatorship course in the Department of Art at Oranim College, in whose framework the installation was originally mounted. The show is centered around a video piece, The Four Mothers, consisting of the testimonies of four of the victims' mothers. Three of them give their testimony in Arabic, without translation; Jamila, Asel's mother, testifies in Hebrew.
In the exhibition text Keshet writes: "I met with Jamila, Asel's mother, in their home in the village of Arrabe. On the living room walls there were large portrait paintings of Asel; a beautiful boy with a wide, happy smile. I saw his notebooks from elementary school, the highly imaginative drawings, the poems he wrote, the letters of condolence, and the stamp 'Enemy Operation' on the Ministry of Health form the family received at the hospital in its time of grief and sorrow." According to testimonies printed in the report The Terrible Days published by The Association for Civil Rights in Israel, and in the publications of Adalah, the Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, Asel Asleh left his home on October 2, 2000, on the way to a demonstration on the main road, at the northern entrance to Arrabe. He was sitting by the side of the road, watching the protests, when three policemen approached him. Asel tried to run away from them. They caught up with him and he fell on the ground. They shot him in the back of the neck at close range while he was lying there on the ground. Like Asel, most of the fatalities were shot in the back, although they were neither a danger nor a threat to the policemen.
[@LEAD@] In Asel's home in the village of Arrabe, I saw the stamp "Enemy Operation" on the Ministry of Health form the family received at the hospital in its time of grief and sorrow
[Titles] Eyad Lawabny, 26, Nazareth Rami Ghara, 21, Jatt Muhammed Jabareen, 24, Umm al-Fahem Ala'a Nassar, 18, Arrabe Asel Asleh, 18, Arrabe Ahmed Siyyam, 18, Umm al-Fahem Ramez Bushnaq, 24, Kufr Manda Emad Ghanaym, 25, Sakhnin Walid Abu Saleh, 21, Sakhnin Omar A'kkawi, 42, Nazareth Wissam Yazbak, 25, Nazareth Muhammed Khamayseh, 19, Kufr Kanna Misleh Abu Jared, 16, Dir El Balah, Gaza (killed during a demonstration in Umm al-Fahem)
[Title] On Asel's shelf is a letter dated November 25, 2000, in which Jamila Asleh, his mother, responds to a letter of condolence she received from the Association of Educational Counselors in Israel. Writing to Mrs. Irit, Jamila says: "You console me for the death of my son, but the truth of the matter is that my son did not die due to an illness or in a car accident, but rather he was murdered… As if these words were not enough, you put the blame on the mothers, maintaining that it is we who encourage our children to perform such acts in order to obtain political goals. Was that an innocent response? If so, how do you explain that these words were underscored!!!… I would like to remind you that I have been working in the field of education for 30 years now; I advise the Ministry of Education and all the guidance counselors and advisors, especially the Jewish ones among them, to wake up from their deep sleep…"
1. Tareb Yazbak - Wissam's mother 2. Hadiya A'kkawi - Omar's mother 3. Jamila Asleh - Asel's mother 4. Halima Bushnaq - Ramez' mother Director: Shula Keshet Editor: Golan Arbiv Photographer: Salem Munir Diab