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The Parachute Paradox

The Parachute Paradox The Parachute Paradox The Parachute Paradox
Signed limited edition of The Parachute Paradox
The Parachute Paradox offers narrative storytelling of the life of the Jerusalemite artist and his experiences under Israeli occupation and proposes a subject that is unprecedented in Palestinian literature: the liberation of the self and the homeland through the liberation of the imagination.
-Al-Araby Al-Jadeed
The Parachute Paradox is therefore also a book about the transformation of the self, about freedom, about liberating the image of Jerusalem from her ideological confinement, about the power of love, and about the artistic imagination breaking free.
-Dr. Almút Sh. Bruckstein

The Parachute Paradox tells the life story of artist Steve Sabella (*1975), who was born in Jerusalem’s Old City and raised under Israeli occupation. After living through both intifadas, being kidnapped in Gaza, and learning to navigate Palestinian and Israeli culture, he feels in exile at home.

For him, the occupation attaches each Palestinian to an Israeli, as if in a tandem jump. The Israeli is always in control, placing the Palestinian under threat in a never-ending hostage situation. He realizes he has two options: either surrender or unbuckle his harness.

Blurring fact and fiction, love and loss, the memoir traces one man’s arduous search for liberation from within, through a confrontation with his colonized imagination.

  Kerber Verlag  
  The Parachute Paradox won the 2017 Eric Hoffer Award and the 2016 Nautilus Book Awards, both for best memoir. The book was also a finalist for The International Book Awards.  
  On The US Review of Books:  
  The Parachute Paradox, Steve Sabella, Kerber Verlag - With a clever and intriguing cover, this book eagerly invites the reader to explore its contents. Perhaps the fact that the author is an accomplished artist and photographer explains the volume's elegant appearance. The book's content isn't any less appealing. We learn the story of a Christian boy growing up among Arabs in Israeli-occupied Palestine, drowning in the toxic national and religious ideology that surrounds him. We later discover a young man who's freedom does not exist except as an expression of his art, and as an endless love for the girl of his dreams. We finally encounter a mature, conflicted man pursuing his career in exile and using art as the vehicle of his liberation. This memoir offers a glimpse into the perpetual Israeli-Palestinian conflict through the eyes of an innocent bystander, who struggles to survive and who learns to live free, if only in his mind. Meanwhile, the Palestinian and the Israeli existence continues to be linked like the parachute jumper and his trainer, who descend in a dangerous tandem toward an insecure future.  
Limited Edition of 1250 & 150 Artist Proofs
ISBN 978-3-7356-0305-0
16,50 x 23,00 cm
304 Pages
Hardcover with clothbound Swiss brochure
Order direct from the Sabella Studio using the PayPal link above
  The Parachute Paradox - Book Review  
  The Palestine Chronicle  
  by Rod Such  
  June 3, 2017  
  How to liberate himself from this [parachute paradox] is at the heart of Sabella’s memoir, which might be better described as a journey of discovery, both of his own personal effort to free himself from the occupation and the collective Palestinian struggle for freedom. The reader who accompanies Sabella on this journey is rewarded with insights that only the Palestinian experience can convey.  
  View Review  

  The Parachute Paradox unrolls Palestinian artist Steve Sabella’s quest for a sense of identity  
  The National (UAE)  
  by Joseph Dana  
  March 22, 2017  
  An in-depth history of one stage of the conflict, a compelling argument to achieve peace or, perhaps, a convincing strategy to challenge the status quo. On rare occasions, an original narrative of the conflict, imbued with honesty and sensitivity, is published.  
  View Review  

Palestine - Israel Journal: Future Visions of Jerusalem
The Parachute Paradox - Chapter from a Jerusalem memoir
  December, 2016  

  Kerber Verlag - The Parachute Paradox in Spring Publications  
  January, 2017  
  View PDF online  
  NPR - Life In Berlin: 'The Parachute Paradox' Part One and Two  
  By Lily Kelting  
January 4th, 2017
Book Release - The Parachute Paradox
Decemeber 21, 2016
The Parachute Paradox, a new book from Palestinian author Steve Sabella, provides a unique insight into the individual pursuit of global citizenship through the author’s life story.
Stitched Wounds
By Corinne Martin
November 16, 2016
  Palestinian artist Steve Sabella discusses his new book, The Parachute Paradox, in which he explores the concept of liberating the imagination : "I want everyone who reads it to feel that our imaginations are free. I want them to consider what I’m convinced of today, that imagination and reality are two sides of the same coin, and that we create our own realities."  
  Hanan Debwania - Palestinian Activist  
  January, 2017  
  I always say if someone wants to feel occupation, he or she must visit the ghost city of Hebron. Now I would say that if anyone wants to feel what it means for a human to be occupied, they must read The Parachute Paradox.  
View PDF
Moors Magazine
The Parachute Paradox
Moors Magazine
By Holly Moors
November 28, 2016

The Parachute Paradox is perhaps the most impressive book I've ever read on the Palestinian-Jewish conflict. A good book to read and to go through gently, piece by piece.

Sabella is also an artist, so the book has a magnificent design and was published in a limited edition of 1250 numbered copies. But that fact, along with the low sales price, are not the most important reasons to buy the book––these are really probing stories by Sabella.

Harper's Bazaar Art Arabia
Talking Art
Harper's Bazaar Art Arabia
By Nada Bokhowa
Winter 2016
  This profound memoir chronicles the life of the artist Steve Sabella who was born in Jerusalem’s Old City and raised under Israeli occupation.  
ICI Berlin
The Parachute Paradox: An Artist's Law of Return
Transcript of ICI Berlin Book Launch Introduction
By Almút Sh. Bruckstein
October 18, 2016
  We want to speak about this captivating black book tonight, The Parachute Paradox. A book about home, about Jerusalem, about the effects and after-effects of the occupation, the occupation of Palestine, of the self, of Jerusalem, about the hijacking of tradition, the hijacking of the image, even the image of Jerusalem, and most importantly about what the artist calls the colonization of the artistic imagination. This meticulously produced book is about exile, not only that of the artist, but even of Jerusalem, the city of prophets who so miserably betrays her promise to act as a secure haven for all its citizens. It is a book about the artist’s exiled mother tongue, about alienated speech and failed communications, about exiled dreams, and most disturbingly, about the haunting experience of the protagonist’s imagination being locked-in by the politics of separation, by the violation of human rights, in other words: by the conditions of life dictated by the Israeli occupation.  
Identity Between Two Worlds: The Art of Materializing Exile
Alkhaleej (Arabic), Oct 17, 2016
By Mohammed Al-Asaad

What is identity? Is it assigned through words? Are they the labels we are born into and continue on living under in their shadows? The current Palestinian answer was proposed by the experiences of Edward Said who said that identity has a fluid nature––it does not settle, or rather it should not settle. He described it as whatever the person wants it to be, subject to constant change.

But Steve adds new meaning in his book, derived from his life in exiled Jerusalem, and then in exile in London and Berlin, where he now lives. His multiplicitous identity arose from where he was born amongst standardized labels, from family, to community and the wider homeland. Steve says he stands with the people of Palestine, who are subjected to uprooting, from the land and the self. That is a given and non-negotiable. But what matters most to him is justice. It is through this mindset that the artist transcends identity, instead stitching his own with the threads of what he sees, knows and learns.


"We have the Power to Change Every Structure we’ve Created on this Planet"
Interview with Steve Sabella
Spitz Magazine (Hebrew) and ID Festival Online Magazine (English/German), Oct 2016
By Tal Alon

Sabella is arguably the perfect protagonist: his art and writing are at once very personal as well as political and universal; his monologues are passionate, while leaving room for question marks.


Al-Araby Al-Jadeed
Steve Sabella: Art as a Process of Liberation
Al-Araby Al-Jadeed (Arabic), Oct 7, 2016

The Palestinian artist Steve Sabella sees that liberating the mind from the colonization of the imagination is highly necessary, for it is more dangerous than the colonization of the land. He sees that liberating the land of Palestine requires the collective imagination and not just the individual one.

The Parachute Paradox offers narrative storytelling of the life of the Jerusalemite artist and his experiences under Israeli occupation and proposes a subject that is unprecedented in Palestinian literature: the liberation of the self and the homeland through the liberation of the imagination.


Al Jadira
CAP Hosts Steve Sabella
Al Jarida (Arabic), Oct 3, 2016
Al-Araby Al-Jadeed
Contemporary Art Platform Hosts Steve Sabella
Al-Araby Al-Jadeed (Arabic), Oct 2, 2016
Al-Araby Al-Jadeed
Sometimes the Answer is Right There in Front of You - The Parachute Paradox
Prologue featured in Al-Araby Al-Jadeed (Arabic), Sept 28, 2016
Translated by Mohammed Al-Asaad
  The Parachute Paradox includes narrative segments from the personal life of Steve Sabella as a conceptual artist born in occupied Jerusalem in 1975. It includes his experience in confronting the colonisation of the imagination, which he considers more brutal than the occupation of the land. Sabella’s relationship with Jerusalem is a major topic in his art across different periods of his output and in different mediums, which led ultimately to to writing, after he positioned his name amongst the most prominent of his generation on the world art map.  
Chapter 8 featured in PRŌTOCOLLUM 2015/16
CAP Kuwait
Kuwait Launch - Oct 5, 2016, 19:00 — 21:00
Coinciding with the solo exhibition Steve Sabella - The Parachute Paradox
At Contemporary Art Platform (CAP) Kuwait - 2 Shuwaikh Industrial, Kuwait City, Kuwait
Reading, discussion with author and literary critic Mohammed Al-Asaad, Q&A and signing
Kuwait Launch Kuwait Launch
ICI Berlin
Berlin Launch - Oct 18, 2016, 19:30 — 21:00
At ICI Berlin - Christinenstr. 18/19 • 10119 Berlin, Germany
Screening of "In the Darkroom with Steve Sabella", reading, discussion with Alya Sebti, director of ifa-Galerie Berlin,
moderated by Dr. Almút Sh. Bruckstein, founder of Taswir Projects, Q&A and signing
A cooperation between ICI Berlin, Steve Sabella & Friends, ifa-Galerie and Taswir Projects
Berlin Launch Berlin Launch
Alserkal Avenue
Dubai Launch - Nov 13, 2016, Time TBA
At Alserkal Avenue - Street 8, Al Quoz 1 - Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Reading, discussion with Rebecca Anne Proctor, Editor-in-chief of Harper's Bazaar Art, Q&A and signing
In collaboration with the Barjeel Art Foundation
SOAS University
London Launch - Nov 21, 2016, 18:00 — 20:00
At University of London, SOAS, SALT Alumni Lecture Theatre
Paul Webley Wing, Senate House, SOAS, Thornhaugh Street, London, WC1H 0XG, UK
Reading, discussion with Dr. Siba Aldabbagh and Professor Wen-Chin Ouyang, Q&A and signing
Sponsored by the Centre for Cultural, Literary and Postcolonial Studies (CCLPS),the Department of the languages and Cultures
of Near and Middle East (NME), and the Centre for Palestine Studies (CPS)
ID Festival 2016
Festival Kick Off - Oct 21, 2016, 19:00 — 21:00
Panel discussion: Language Beyond Borders
Curated/Moderated by Elad Lapidot (philosopher), Olga Grjasnowa (author), Steve Sabella (artist), and Mati Shemoelof (author, poet, journalist and activist)
ID Festival ID Festival
Read the related interview by Tal Alon:
"We have the Power to Change Every Structure we’ve Created on this Planet"
Interview with Steve Sabella
in Spitz Magazine (Hebrew) and ID Festival Online Magazine (English/German), Oct 2016


Signed limited edition of The Parachute Paradox