By Danae Stratou, 2007
CYPRUS: GREEN LINE, KOSOVO: NORTH-SOUTH MITROVICA, N. IRELAND: BELFAST, ETHIOPIA-ERITREA: BADME, WEST BANK, PALESTINE: WALL, INDIAN-PAKISTANI ADMINISTERED KASHMIR: LINE OF CONTROL, MEXICO-USA: BORDER FENCE
War and prejudice may divide people, but people are the same; and their lives similar on both sides of the dividing line. And yet, the Cut keeps deepening as the Walls keep rising, and globalising, in an era that promised to erase them. Seven open wounds. Seven lines on the planet where political, economic, nationalist or religious tension has long ago shaped impenetrable divisions. Some constitute natural landmarks that humans have appropriated as dividers; others are utterly artificial. A few coincide with ill-defined state borders, usually ceasefire lines. All of them are founded on unresolved issues and relentless claims. They procure fluidity, uncertainty, death. Around them, however, the desire abounds for a normal life… I travelled and stood in those places, capturing on photographic stills the two sides of each division. I flew, drove and walked for 60,000 km. I wandered and talked to the people who live in these grey zones, in the ‘no man’s lands’. From the resulting 15,000 photographs, I chose 14 (7 pairs). I set them up, each opposite its pair, creating in this manner a visual walkway; a path through these binary oppositions which tracks the aspiration to heal; to bridge; to let the mind’s eye fill in the chasm.