Friday Review » Art

Updated: December 4, 2011 18:33 IST

The walls between us

Sangeetha Devi Dundoo
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The dividing line between North and South Korea
The dividing line between North and South Korea

Two photographers capture political tension in war-torn zones through walls and dividing lines

Walls serve to separate people than protect them from extraneous forces, believe photographers Alexandra Novosseloff and Frank Neisse. The duo travelled for two years across different countries, documenting the impact of man-made divisions on those living close to the boundaries. They travelled from Tijuana to Belfast and Jerusalem to Seoul and Laayoune capturing images and speaking to people. Their observations emerged as a travel notebook that was less a combination of a personal travel account and a detached geopolitical essay.

The result of Novosseloff's and Neisse's work is a travelling exhibition, Walls Between People. Since the first showing in Geneva in 2008, the exhibition has travelled to many countries before reaching India.

Now on display at the State Art Gallery, Madhapur, are prints and not the original photographs, punctuated by maps and historical facts. Each photograph narrates a story of unresolved conflict. The exhibition takes us to the demilitarised zone between North and South Korea, the wall of separation between Israel and Palestine, the electrified fence on the Line of Control between India and Pakistan, the barrier between the United States and Mexico, the peace lines in Northern Ireland and the green line that divides the island of Cyprus. The barbed wires between North and South Korea and the wall dividing Israel and Palestine, smeared with the words ‘this wall will fall' narrate the story of people in war-torn areas. The walls themselves stand mute spectators to cultural and political tension.

Walls Between People, organised by Alliance Française Hyderabad, is on display at State Art Gallery, Madhapur, till December 11.

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