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Gershon Knispel: The Answer (1976)

I have been asked again and again, why we made the monument to the “Land Day” at Sakhneen. In ancient times, people piled up cairns as monuments to preserve a site or to drive away evil spirits… And surely only evil spirits could force peasantry to leave their land, and only evil spirits could disturb the tranquility of peasants, labouring on their land. Is it not the evil spirit which led to the shedding of innocent blood, of those whose only crime was their protest against the seizure of their land.

Here is the answer: Together with my colleague abed abdi, I built that “Cairn of Masses” for the same purpose: to drive away evil spirits, and to preserve the site, the site of spoliation. Robbery and usurpation of land. But also to leave a memorial of shared creative work which will one day become a landmark around which future generations will be able to meet, generations which will find it hard to believe what actually happened. And if you will, let us say, that our joint work will be a pledge that what happened will not occur again.


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