Monday 18 January 2010

15 February 2010, Mr Falafel

Palestinian Eaterie
Units T4 - T5
New Shepherd's Bush Market
Uxbridge Road
W12 8LH


The benefit of having a third person, and real randomness

The Monday after the Sunday crisis, and it is back to Shepherds Bush, it is nice to go to the same place for the third time now, and is it nice to see Ahmad again.

We voiced all our concerns and the apparent crisis (see previous meal) to Edd, he listened carefully and asked questions, he asked if a stronger relationship to the shop owners would help, and he also suggested that we put some of the edited video on U tube, to widen our net. He said that it might be good to have short clips just from people answering the question we usually ask them; did Israel steel the falafel from the Palestinians. It is very rewarding to speak to Edd, someone who follows the project closely, yet outside of it and the occupation, as such. We both felt how Edd’s involvement in the project changed from the first couple of meals where he was filming, but explains that he finds that it mostly goes over his head, to now, with his real sensitivity to the issues at hand and a sense of immersion in it, outside the remits of filming and editing. Not to mention that he also eats falafel every day, he said he smells of it now. The conversation with Edd about the crisis and keeping the meals short felt extremely positive. Edd said how happy he was that we are continuing and that we are breaking through the barriers and the difficult stuff in order to see what will come up. Few close people said how happy they were that we have not stopped, or given up. Stopping would never have been giving up, it would only have been a change of strategy, and yet, it seems that it was good we decided to continue. Only now, more informed and in control of the material that is evolving. We felt by the end of the meal that our concerns and methodologies and our general feelings and reflections benefited greatly from the crisis we had. And if we needed another reassurance that our Situationist randomness, yet structured mapping, had value, here came Madeleine. She sat in the cafĂ© the whole time and came to us at the end to say hi and that she over- heard our conversation and that she deals with the occupation a great deal. We were relieved to hear that she held the same opinions as us regarding the occupation. She told us how she become involved in it and directed us to her website where there are images of her work. Meeting her was the icing on the falafel, for the day. Ahmad said that she has been a regular for years. Now we feel we might even miss this when it is over, we are beginning to form connections and lines of connections between people we meet, the stories are interwoven and London feels smaller than ever.

Madeleine Strindberg

Tail End, gloss on canvass, 2007, from Strindberg's show Over There
The focus of the work is on the architecture of the occupation: broken bodies, broken lives – spaces devoid of people.
Throughout the exhibition Over There the viewer is confronted with the harsh reality of what life under occupation is like.

Ahmad gave us this book, he said that he it was on a shelf for a long while gathering dust. We must remember to give him our graphic novel next week, our last meal there. It was good to leave earlier than usual, but we did not get a chance to speak to him this time, which was a shame.

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