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Exhibitions
Palestine
Falastin

Adam Broomberg & Rafael Gonzalez

Adam Broomberg & Rafael Gonzalez / Anchor in the Landscape. An Artists + Allies x Hebron project (Issa Amro in Hebron, Adam Broomberg in Berlin)

Palestine has always been the home of olive trees. Their roots dig deep into the land and provide a harvest that is the basis of Palestinian identity and cuisine. The slim outlines of the olive leaf adorn the traditional keffiyeh - which has been worn with pride by Palestinians and allies since the 1930s as a national symbol for the self-determination of the people.


Al-Badawi is likely the oldest olive tree in the world.1 Standing near Bethlehem, the tree has been alive for 4-5,000 years. Its existence is now endangered by the threat of new Israeli settlements and walls that plan to extend onto its roots.2


Adam Broomberg and Rafael Gonzalez have spent the last few years documenting, photographing, and archiving olive trees in Palestine. In the new publication Anchor in the Landscape, portraits of these endangered heirlooms stand tall and proud. Some of them are corralled by fences and impending settlements, others breathe free in rural orchards. All of them are a testament to the resilience and rootedness of the land.

Purchase: 'Anchor in the Landscape'
The Second Olive Tree

Mahmoud Darwish

Translated by Marilyn Hacker


The olive tree does not weep and does not laugh. The olive tree

Is the hillside’s modest lady. Shadow

Covers her single leg, and she will not take her leaves off in front of the storm.

Standing, she is seated, and seated, standing.

She lives as a friendly sister of eternity, neighbour of time

That helps her stock her luminous oil and

Forget the invaders’ names, except the Romans, who

Coexisted with her, and borrowed some of her branches


To weave wreaths. They did not treat her as a prisoner of war

But as a venerable grandmother, before whose calm dignity

Swords shatter. In her reticent silver-green

Color hesitates to say what it thinks, and to look at what is behind

The portrait, for the olive tree is neither green nor silver.

The olive tree is the color of peace, if peace needed

A color. No one says to the olive tree: How beautiful you are!

But: How noble and how splendid! And she,

She who teaches soldiers to lay down their rifles

And re-educates them in tenderness and humility: Go home

And light your lamps with my oil! But

These soldiers, these modern soldiers

Besiege her with bulldozers and uproot her from her lineage

Of earth. They vanquished our grandmother who foundered,

Her branches on the ground, her roots in the sky.

She did not weep or cry out. But one of her grandsons

Who witnessed the execution threw a stone

At a soldier, and he was martyred with her.

After the victorious soldiers

Had gone on their way, we buried him there, in that deep

Pit – the grandmother’s cradle. And that is why we were

Sure that he would become, in a little while, an olive

Tree – a thorny olive tree – and green!

Adam Broomberg (b. 1970, Johannesburg) is an artist, activist and educator. He currently lives and works in Berlin. Broomberg is Practice supervisor on the MA in Photography & Society at The Royal Academy of Art (KABK), The Hague. He was recently a visiting professor in the Media Arts Department of the Karlsruhe University of Arts and Design (HfG) and between 2016 and 2022 was professor of Photography at the Hochschule für bildende Künste (HfBK) in Hamburg. His most recent work “Anchor in the Landscape” a photographic survey of olive trees in Occupied Palestine has just been published by MACK books and will be exhibited at the 60th edition of La Biennale di Venezia. His activist work currently includes having founded Artists + Allies x Hebron (AHH), an NGO which he co-directs alongside the celebrated Palestinian human rights defender Issa Amro. Their recent project, “Counter Surveillance” entailed installing surveillance cameras in olive groves in Hebron, Palestine and broadcasting the livestream to numerous international institutions. An attempt to enlist the public in the task of protecting the ancient trees from destruction by illegal settlers and Israeli authorities. For two decades, he was one half of the critically acclaimed artist duo Broomberg & Chanarin. Together they had numerous solo exhibitions, most recently at Fabra i Coats Centre D’Art Contemporani Barcelona (2021), The Centre Georges Pompidou (2018) and the Hasselblad Center (2017), among others. His participation in international group shows include; 8th Triennial of Photography — Currency, Hamburger Kunsthalle (2022); the Yokohama Trienniale (2017); Documenta, Kassel (2017); The British Art Show 8 (2015-2017); Conflict, Time, Photography at Tate Modern (2015); Shanghai Biennale (2014); Museum of Modern Art, New York (2014); Tate Britain (2014); and the Gwangju Biennale (2012). His work is held in major public and private collections including the Art Gallery of Ontario, Baltimore Museum of Art, Centres Pompidou, Cleveland Museum of Art, MoMA, Stedelijk Museum, Tate, Yale University Art Gallery and Victoria & Albert Museum. Major awards include the Arles Photo Text Award (2018), ICP Infinity Award (2014) for Holy Bible and the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize (2013) for War Primer 2.
Rafael Gonzalez was born 1985 in Panama City, Panama, González is a self-taught photographer. Influenced by urban environments, skateboarding culture, and daily life scenarios, he has “developed a signature vision exploring the relationship of these elements through meticulously constructed images taken in a variety of places, where cultures and societies collide or coincide”, as his website explains. His work has been published in Juxtapoz Magazine, i-D, Transworld Skateboarding, The Leica Camera blog, Lomography, Ilford Photo, Monster Children, and Huck Magazine. In 2017, he started Intêrstate, an independent print publication focused on skateboarding, film photography, and visual arts.
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