The journey from Syria
Khaled Jarrar (lives and works in Palestine) is an artist whose work explores the representations of power – sabotaging codes and symbols, as well as the notions of statehood, legitimacy, historical narrative, political authority and most importantly, freedom. In the performance State of Palestine, he asks passersby to let him stamp their passports with the fake stamp of the State of Palestine. With this performative action, Jarrar decides to push the limits of his role, in a powerful act of proclaiming the existence of a state that does not exist and challenging the limits of political geographic property through the creation of a symbol. It is an information campaign based on non-violent resistance: those who agree to have their passport stamped agree, implicitly, to support and recognize the need for a change in the world's geo-political strategies. At the same time, a series of postage stamps made by Jarrar with the logo of the State of Palestine – the Palestine Sunbird – are currently used in some European countries (Deutsche Post printed approximately 29,000 on the occasion of the Berlin Biennial).
Jarrar’s work engages with important issues concerning art as a "place" that is capable of supporting activities that could not happen anywhere else, opening the question of how art affects politics. Art opens a space able to make us believe in the freedom to think outside the box: spaces of independent thinking able to explore the imagination of what could be. Jarrar’s one is thus a method of determining a possible alternate reality of resisting occupation. With his project, Jarrar finally takes on the potential to engender a political dialog.