Trying to be 20 in Jerusalem

"It is not 'the blood of the victims' I have been searching for, (its blunt visual representations in my view are only feeding, intensifying and perpetuating this conflict) but the state of mind of those Jerusalemites who put up with a reality that questions every aspect of their existence and that forbids normality.

I have tried to capture the players of this hyper-polarized city in their moments of doubt, meditation, contemplation, fatigue, rest, fear, hope, understanding, grace, consolation and escape. By doing that, I did not create the 'objective, accurate portrait of the average young Jerusalemite', (there is no such prototype) but it is the representation of my wishful perspective - focusing on those seeming to leave the main stream, coping with it from the side, or from their inside: only they might make a change.

For me, focusing these days, in this city on 'what is going on' at an objective news-type level, would be very much like portraying insanity in a mental institution. Creating my own 'precariously sane reality' is and has been my challenge, and for that to happen, I have to stay away from the ongoing vicious stream of events myself, as much as one living here can.

Dinu Mendrea, February 2003

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Trying to be 20 in Jerusalem by Dinu Mendrea
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