The Parachute Paradox – A Book Review
The Palestine Chronicle
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.
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The Parachute Paradox Unrolls Palestinian Artist Steve Sabella’s Quest for a Sense of Identity
The National (UAE) – Arts & Culture section
March 22, 2017
The number of books about Israel and Palestine published every year can feel oppressive to the average reader. Coupled with the constant stream of news, it is clear that there is untappable desire for discussion about the conflict. Yet, new books tend follow the same patterns in terms of approach, construction and content. 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.
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Kerber Verlag – New Publications Spring 2017
Christof Kerber in the catalogue’s foreword
As always, sociopolitical topics also have a firmly established place in our program. In his autobiography, The Parachute Paradox, the Palestinian artist Steve Sabella narrates his remarkable life story.
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The Parachute Paradox – Part One and Two
NPR – Life In Berlin
January 4th, 2017
When people ask me where I come from, I say I come from planet Earth. I mean, where else? Then they ask, ‘Where were you born?’ which I think is the right question. I acknowledge one-hundred percent where I come from, where I was born, which is the Old City of Jerusalem, where I lived for almost thirty years.
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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.
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Hanan Debwania – Palestinian Activist
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.
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Steve Sabella – The Parachute Paradox
Moors Magazine (Dutch)
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.
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Harper’s Bazaar Art Arabia
This profound memoir chronicles the life of the artist Steve Sabella who was born in Jerusalem’s Old City and raised under Israeli occupation.
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The Parachute Paradox: An Artist’s Law of Return
Almút Sh. Bruckstein
Introduction for the book launch at the Institute of Cultural Inquiry Berlin
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.
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Identity Between Two Worlds: The Art of Materializing Exile
Oct 17, 2016
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.
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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)
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.
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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.
view on the Al-Araby Al-Jadeed website
CAP Hosts Steve Sabella
Al Jarida (Arabic), Oct 3, 2016
تستضيف منصة الفن المعاصر (كاب) بمنطقة الشويخ الصناعية بعد غد، الفنان الفلسطيني ستيف سابيلا في جلسة حوار يقرأ فيها صفحات من كتابه الصادر بالإنكليزية تحت عنوان “معضلة مظلة هبوط”.
يروي الكتاب سيرة حياة الفنان وتجربته مع الاحتلال الإسرائيلي، الذي يتمدد إلى استعمار المخيلة، وهو الأخطر في رأيه مما ألمَّ بفلسطين وشعبها من احتلال للأرض والفضاء والبحر.
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 colonization 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 writing, after he positioned his name amongst the most prominent of his generation on the world art map.
Chapter 8 featured in PROTOCOLLUM 2015/16
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,
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
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,
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)
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)
Read the related interview by Tal Alon, Oct 2016
“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),