Ilana Salama Ortar was born in Alexandria, yet expelled from Egypt on a unidirectional laissez-passer, this has sharpened her sensitivity towards forced displacement and Israelis and Palestinians’ Gordian-Knot like Fatal Embrace. In search of coexistence, the project comparatively places Israel, Palestine, and Berlin’s manner of coping with histories. In spite of her war traumas, Berlin’s urban development unfolds her remarkable empathetic drive towards its residents’ varied backgrounds and social classes.
As per Polany’s dictum: "man's economy….. is submerged in his social relationships", ILana postulates the market’s embeddedness in society’s needs, traditions, cultural values, and political institutions. Correspondingly, the project grapples with capitalist 'social philanthropies' as entangled with ethnicity and class, as expressed in the urban spaces of Israel, the occupied territories, and one district of Berlin that struggles, agrees, or compromises between markets and social class issues.
As the economy molds Israeli and Palestinian bricks together - what price do both parties pay? When markets stop serving society – will we be confronted by a collapse of social relations and humanistic values?
Funded by ARTIS, New York