Our mission is to distribute and archive works of time-based art. Each issue highlights artists working in new or experimental media, whose works are best documented in video or sound.

Soup Over Bethlehem

Soup Over Bethlehem
with commentary by Nat Muller
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View Video with Commentary: Play

Soup Over Bethlehem (2006) depicts an ordinary Palestinian family, Sansour’s own, around a dinner table on a rooftop overlooking the West Bank city of Bethlehem. What starts as a culinary discussion about the national dish mloukhieh being served from a soup bowl soon evolves into a personal and engaging conversation about politics – thereby emphasizing the symbiosis of food and politics so indicative of the Palestinian experience.
Rather than offering a portrait of a national identity as an invitation to renegotiate stereotypes, Soup Over Bethlehem presents a stereotype already renegotiated. The Arabic spoken around the dinner table is interrupted by English, and family members hold a variety of international passports, jobs and academic degrees. The diasporic traits present in every Palestinian family history lends a globalized quality even to life under the restraints of occupation. In turn, the mloukhieh in the soup bowl represents the shared national heritage – a single constant amid nothing but fluctuation. And the meal itself becomes a gastronomic anchoring of a Palestinian identity in eternal flux.