i see in the sea nothing except the sea.
i don’t see a shore. i don’t see a dove.

the camera club of new york, 2014

curated by heather m. o’brien
featuring work by adam golfer, ashley hunt, carlos motta, and samira yamin

the title of the project is borrowed from mahmoud darwish's book of poetry, memory for forgetfulness: august, beirut, 1982. here, however, the current and overwhelming power of the war on terror and its endlessness is considered, we attempt to imagine a shoreline.

the radio tells me my school is the next target for a shooting. i practice holding my head under the desk.

i wake up in a dorm room and watch the second plane hit the tower.

people are holding newspapers in the subway; they show a city that’s underwater.

light beams down through a hole in the roof of the stadium. 2,500 men sit inside orleans parish prison.

water rises to their chests.

i finally see his eyes on the cover of a magazine.

people peer beyond the fence, hoping to catch a glimpse of the ash.

he tells us we will not fail. he tells us we are with him or we are with them.

i see the snow fall on her face and i’m reminded of the ash. the desert feels cold at night, even inside the trailer.

they watch the shadows shimmer from above.

he tells us to get on board and do our business around the country; to go and enjoy a great american destination spot, like disneyworld.

i see a tent city at the base of the skyline.

it’s dusk and the light is soft. but i can’t see any incarcerated people.

there’s a bottomless fountain but no people.

there are no images of his body.

i search but my eyes are tired. i search but i don’t want to see anymore. i search but i’m completely numb. i must search.

the document tells us nothing. let’s begin there. now, what is the site? is it here or is it there? how do we tell this story? a conscious choice is made to tell it otherwise—to mull over media, memorial, technology, detention. that which is unseen begins to leak, and slowly we begin to see: