Virtual Reality Encounters at the Israel Museum: Palestinian Homes and Heartlands
virtual reality
Daniel Landau

This essay discusses the relationship between intimacy and violence in the context of colonial oppression. Drawing from geographical literature on spatial intimacies, the article delves into the specific ways Israel targets socio-spatial entities while deploying and targeting intimacy. It does so through an analysis of Visitors, a virtual reality installation at Israel Museum that abolishes the social and political realities of Palestinians, which are juxtaposed with the settler colonial violence that daily targets Palestinian homes outside the borders of the Israel Museum. The author argues that home as a site of analysis can shed light on how political representations become mapped out and framed in the case of Palestinians, making explicit the relationship between the geography of home and the politics of representation. While Landau’s exhibition is meant to bridge a social gap between two people, his ideological assumptions, seemingly divergent from the state of Israel, remain infused by settler colonial politics of fear and racial superiority.

Author biography: 

Sabrien Amrov is a PhD candidate in Human Geography at the University of Toronto. She would like to thank: Daniel Landau for taking the time to speak with her; Emily Gilbert for assistance with an earlier version of this article; the two anonymous reviewers for providing great feedback on earlier versions of this article; and Alex Winder for his continuous assistance in making the article stronger. A special thank you to the 2019 New Directions in Palestinian Studies workshop.