Entrance to the Restaurant of Peace.
To begin with, my photographic skills were lacking. At the time, I shot straight into the sun and didn’t really have a sense of composition. Scanned today from fast-fading slides, the result has an overexposed quality I do not like, and about which I can do very little.
Standing on the restaurant’s balcony, overlooking the shore.
Every image in this set harbors a cloudy lower section (do you see it?). I imagine the developing process went shoddy; the ‘clouds’ are the same in each picture, as if damage was sustained during the drying process, or maybe during the 17 years in storage.
View from the beach: the same scene as before, but from a lower angle.
The sand in this picture seems to camouflage the haze. Still, I dislike the saturated colors and overexposure – it appears artificial and stylized, which can communicate a forced sentimentality.
Two women walk across the foreground — a rusted ship, the wreckage of two cars, and two other people are visible in the background.
Layers of historical narrative are at once expanded and collapsed by the depth of field. I think this is the most successful picture of the set. Unacknowledged histories can be compiled with the aid of snapshots like this one, I offer.
Walking along the scrap-metal-strewn sands, a young boy looks at the camera.
I cannot imagine such an abrupt turn of direction, so much so that I think this image may have been horizontally flipped. It is also likely that I was not expecting such intimate proximity after keeping such a distance.
The painted wall punctuates our exit from the Restaurant of Peace.
Oil or moisture on the lens? I admit to weeping in the refugee camps of Gaza. I was there with my companions in 1991 and we had reached the literal limit, the end of the road, the proverbial sea. But I do not recall my tears smearing the glass or dripping on the film itself.