– Autumn/Winter 2010

Events, Works, Exhibitions

The Fabrication of Truth

In the Arab countries, political powers, parties, religious communities and various official institutions still continue today to celebrate and praise martyrdom and collective death. This is done in the name 'of the fatherland', 'of the soil', 'of liberation', 'of Arab blood', 'of Islam' and other such slogans. Yet these same societies swiftly forget their heroes, who are relegated to the status of mere names lengthening the list of the martyrs. In the following pages we will attempt a reading of the video recorded in 1985 by a member of the Lebanese Communist Party, Jamal El Sati, a combatant for the National Resistance Front, just a few hours before the suicide operation he carried out against the Israeli army that at the time was occupying Southern Lebanon. This recording was broadcast on the news program of the Lebanese national television channel, as is often the case for this kind of operation. By chance, Elias Khoury and I came across the original, uncut videotape. Here, Jamal El Sati repeats his testimony three times in front of the camera before deciding on the best version to present to the public. While the difference between these three versions is minimal and of little importance, the public was supposed to see only one of his attempts, an incontestable, unequivocal document. Upon viewing the original video, we immediately fell under the spell of these repeated attempts; we gave into temptation despite ourselves, and decided to present the tape to the public as is, without editing. We even made it the subject of our theatrical performance, Three Posters. We are well aware that by behaving in this way we exposed ourselves to the