NERA DI VERZASCA AWARD 2016
Muted observers of the most intimate details of family life; if walls could talk, they would share the pain, both literal and figurative, of their inhabitants. The peace of mind that their silence brings is the keystone of the sanctuary that they are entrusted to provide for our personal security. An individual’s perception of a haven crystallises as a house becomes a home but if this assurance is shattered, the consequences are virtually impossible to recover from. Those fortunate enough to have the means to move their family following a traumatic violation of their home will almost certainly do so. Many, however, do not have the financial capacity to do so and what was once their fortress will continue to serve as a reminder of the events that robbed them of their peace and tranquillity. Nowhere does this hold true more so than in Gaza, where no home is safe from Israeli attack. Passive in their protection and modest in strength, the shelters erected by Palestinian families in Khuza’a, Khan Yunis, are very limited in their capacity to safeguard against the elements, let alone the weaponry at the disposal of the fourth most powerful military in the world .
Collateral damage is part and parcel of modern warfare. We have been conditioned to accept this material fact. In a time when the targeting of military objectives on foreign soils has become the norm and serves as justification for all accompanying civilian casualties; an almost insurmountable emotional disconnect has been erected by our partisan media between ourselves, the safety of our armchairs and those deemed expendable by our armed guardians of neoliberal fundamentalism. We are repeatedly reassured that we are the ‘good guys’ and that those who do not share in our neo-colonial aspirations are ‘terrorists’.