Khaled Jarrar


In I.Soldier the search for my individuality as a soldier takes place by observing other soldiers from above. I see them as individuals going through their daily exercises that have become a routine practice in their life. They belong to a military group, following a strict collective strategy that gradually wipes away individuality. All are subjugated to a well-planned ideological process that aims to unite them intellectually and physically. As a result we stand before the process of planting the notion of a soldier within their own reference, and at that moment they will be entirely controlled. Observing the training of soldiers has given me the opportunity to discover the weaknesses of the individuality of the soldiers that reflects itself in spontaneous behavior that is far from any military order. I observed and re-observed them: I photographed them until I penetrated into the individuality of each soldier.

Before working on Docile Soldier I started to rethink the political and ethical status of me as a soldier and as a photographer. […] Photography is the result of an encounter with another and with other. In this encounter, one is holding a camera, while the other, knowingly or not, becomes the photographed or filmed soldier. An image or aspect of that soldier is inscribed within the film, and to some extent, this act, this encounter inescapably involve a level of violence, even when the situation is with the soldiers’ full consent. […] A photograph for the soldiers is not a crime or an injustice; a photograph is more than evidence: it imposes another sort of obligation on them, to address and readdress it in a way that challenges what it shows of our life together. I demand nothing less than to re imagine how I was before I was a soldier, so I might become a soldier again.


b. 1976, Jenin, Palestine

Lives and works in Ramallah, Palestine. His work explores the themes of statehood, legitimacy, historical narrative, political authority and, most importantly, freedom. Born in the West Bank city of Jenin, he has lived under oppressive circumstances in the military occupied Palestinian Territories. He obtained a degree in Interior Design at the Palestine Polytechnic University in 1996. Later, he joined the Palestinian Presidential Guard, rising to the rank of Captain, serving Yasser Arafat. He indulged his love of the arts by being one of the lead photographers of his military brigade. Soon after the establishment of the International Academy of Art-Palestine in Ramallah, Jarrar earned a Bachelor degree in contemporary visual arts. Recent exhibitions include: 11th Sharjah Biennial (2013) • Qalandiya Internatinal Biennial, Palestine (2012) • NEWTOPIA: The State of Human Rights, Mechelen and Brussels (2012) • 7th Berlin Biennial (2012) • 52nd October Salon, Belgrade (2011) • London Film Festival (2010) • Al-Ma’mal Foundation, Galandia, Jerusalem (2010) • Instant Video Festival, Marseille (2009) • Al-Mahatta Gallery, Ramallah (2007 and 2009) • International Academy of Art Palestine, Ramallah (2007) • Checkpoint, Hawara checkpoint, Nablus and Qalaniya checkpoint, Jerusalem (2007).