Against the background of the refugee crisis in Europe, Bouchra Khalili’s works tracing illegal border crossings around the Mediterranean take on renewed urgency. By empowering those who undertook the perilous passages to tell their own stories, the eight videos of The Mapping Journey Project, 2008–11each a fixed frame showing only a paper map on which a hand can be seen drawing with permanent marker a zigzag route, narrated by the migrant who took it, so that the viewer must imagine for herself the arduous experiencepresent a critical alternative to the media’s coverage of the crisis.
But to reduce The Mapping Journey Project to this sadly timely subject matter would be to miss its broader scope. This range was already suggested by the inclusion of a map of the West Bank and a young man’s account of circumventing checkpoints on his way from Ramallah to East Jerusalem
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