Migratory News

In October of last year, [2001] we visited the remains of the Twin Towers in New York. People had erected altars of different kinds to commemorate the victims. Among them, we noticed one on the wall of Chase Manhattan, a major American bank. At the same time, a photograph recently appeared in the national [Venezuelan] press which symbolically illustrates one of the latest bombings in Haifa, Israel: a woman kneels to pray over an offering of candles and flowers placed on the site where a bus exploded. Adjacent to this photo is another, showing a section of another bus, this one inviting the viewer to participate in the weekly lottery, which has now reached fifty million shekels. In both images, human tragedy is framed by material reality: the role of money in our societies; an awareness of our universality. These front page photographs are joined in later pages by a series of news items taken from the national and international press. We have been collecting these in an obsessive manner during the last two years.

We refer to this collection as “The Good News Book.” In our daily review of the press of the country in which we find ourselves, we have come to recognize three categories of good news.The first entails happy events which result from direct human contact which crosses and transcends socio-economic and ethno-political structures and enacts the shared substance between women and men the world over, above and beyond conflicts. The second category includes articles and editorials which shed new light—a new, reflexive, impartial, or humane point of view—on a national or international political problem.The third category includes histories of or interviews with people from far away countries, which again remind us of our universality. Due to the escalation in political and social violence in both our countries, Israel and Venezuela, during the course of this project, the focus of the newspaper has been modified. It is as though, involuntarily, the current news trend has taken over the front page, while the “good news” have been pushed into a corner, where they hold on to faith in human beings. We would like therefore to conclude this message with the words of Israeli writer and essayist Shulamit Hareven:

There is not a singular motive [for violence]. There is a basketful of motives. There is a moment in which everything can still happen, the good as well as the bad, when nothing is yet set in place; when the norms disappear, leaving a vacuum in their place, the dividing line between the two becomes invisible. …We must understand that [in political conflicts] it is not about face offs of power or weakness when, during the process of conflict, both sides feel at a disadvantage and act according to that feeling. It is about two traumas as profound as the sea, over which we now must build utterly new lives, a new world, new hopes. …It is about two societies [in this case, Palestine and Israel] which do not require a scrupulous revision of the past; they need only one thing: healing.

We would like to summarize these thoughts in our own words: in any relation, it is least essential to establish who is right.

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