In the North of Israel, the members of a religious kibbutz, a community of artists and an Arab village – who share a politically fraught history including losing homes and reclaiming identity – live as neighbours on a hillside. A glimpse into their life worlds in one shared environment reveals conflicting narratives of victimhood and guilt, pride and wrongdoings. We begin to understand that individual identifications rarely match up with official, state sponsored categories. The governing of those is a powerful tool – therefore, the creation of contemporary, shared narratives of land and people is a politically meaningful act. “On Common Ground” points to the question if, and how, this can have an effect in a country that is divided within and under constant pressure from the outside.
ASophie Wagner studied Cultural and Social Anthropology, with a focus on documentary film, at the University of Vienna. She finished another MA in Visual Anthropology at the Granada Centre at the University of Manchester. She is also part of the ETHNOCINECA – Vienna’s documentary and ethnographic film fest – since 2011