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Volume 1 / Issue 1 / Spring 2012


THEORY MAGAZINE / TABLE OF CONTENTS VOLUME ONE / ISSUE ONE / SPRING 2012

NUMBERS

PHOTOGRAPHY

The Number Eight

Rum Therapy by Parker Hilton Provocative images that explore the escapist pursuits

FINE ARTS Josh Mangum Exploring imagined visual worlds layered with rich color and images.

of nightlife. DUBL VSN by Jordan Roberts Memorable, yet obscure, images that intimately engage life and light.

Jaclyn Guenthner Digging deep into the uncertainties of life, art and the choices we all make.

CULTURE Under Occupation by Derek Smallwood

Dalton C. Brink

Documenting the harsh, beautiful reality of modern

Getting metaphysical in and around the Bozeman

Palestinian life.

art scene. WORDS AND PICTURES Really Hard... by Tammi Heneveld

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THEORY MAGAZINE / STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS VOLUME ONE / ISSUE ONE / SPRING 2012

Staff Editor In Chief Brian Thabault brian@theory-magazine.com

Josh Mangum jmangum024@hotmail.com www.mangumart.com

Copy Editors

A local Montanan, Josh moved from Billings to Bozeman in 2007. After completing three years at the MSU School of Art, he is now devoting his time to painting, building frames, and raising his dog Yoshi at his home studio in Bozeman.

LeAnne Williams leanne@theory-magazine.com Ashley Moon moon@theory-magazine.com THEORY MAGAZINE 516 W. Olive Street Apt. F Bozeman Montana 59715 802-318-1803

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Submissions Theory Magazine is currently accepting submissions of art, photography, cartoons, music, films, and writing. Visit theory-magazine.com/submissions or email submissions@theory-magazine.com

Advertising Theory Magazine has reasonably priced advertising opportunities for print and web. Visit theory-magazine.com/advertising or email ads@theory-magazine.com for more information.

Printed By: Executive Mailing Services 221 East Mendenhall Street Bozeman, Montana 59715 406.586.2600

data@execservmail.com

Special Thanks To: All the awesome contributors listed on the right, Stephanie Newman, Jeff Conger, Jason Johnson, Rollin Beamish, Dennis Duenas, Jeff Krogstad, Conrad Janzer, Nicole Kuha, Ron Craighead, Todd Heath, Shane Johnson, Ashley Moon, Everyone at The Compound, The Cottonwood Club and Free Art School, all those who submitted work online, and all my wonderful family and friends. Cheers! 3

Contributors

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Jaclyn Guenthner jaclynjguenthner@yahoo.com A recent graduate of MSU, Jaclyn earned her BFA in painting. She is currently splitting her time between creating new pieces and working as a barista at Cafe M in Bozeman. She is soon planning to travel the U.S. and the world. Dalton C. Brink daltoncbrink@gmail.com http://www.daltoncbrink.weebly.com Dalton is a dropout of the U.S. Navy, where he earned his degree in nuclear engineering. Originally from Memphis, TN, he made his way to Bozeman in search of mountains and streams lacking dirty mattresses and broken refrigerators. He enjoys extra-dimensional life and free piles. Parker Hilton parker.rhilton@gmail.com www.parkerhilton.com Originally from Rumson, New Jersey, Parker transplanted himself across the country to Montana and is currently studying photography at MSU. He enjoys frequenting seedy nightclubs and racing go-carts competitively. Jordan Roberts jrob823@gmail.com www.jordanrobertsphotography.com Jordan, A.K.A. The Velvet Hammer, is currently studying photography at MSU. When not taking photographs, he fights crime with his trusty sidekick, The Satin Hound. Derek Smallwood dereksmallwood3@gmail.com Born and raised in Vermont, Derek attended Lesley University in Cambridge Massachusetts, where he earned a degree in Global Studies. He is currently teaching English at the Excellence Center in Hebron Palestine. Tammi Heneveld tammi.heneveld@gmail.com www.tammi-heneveld.com Tammi is from North Pole, Alaska. Yes, it is a real place, you can google it. She is now studying at MSU where she will soon graduate with a major in graphic design. Tammi is also the production manager at the ASMSU Exponent, and makes really funny comics there too.


LETTER FROM THE EDITOR The Issue that you have in your hand is the result of more than a year of planning and preparation. Theory Magazine was born out of my desire to create a channel of communication for local artists. I envisioned a channel that followed a modern magazine model. A publication with equal effort poured into both the online presence and the print publication. In March 2012, I launched theory-magazine.com and was overwhelmed by the outpouring of support and submissions. This wave of support came not just from Bozeman, but from all over the world. Issue one of Theory Magazine is my effort to launch something bigger than Bozeman. Within the following pages, you will see a span of work from eight different contributors. The work is of a caliber that can compete on an international scale. The artists features contain examples of pieces of work, and artist interviews. I sat down with each artist and asked them questions. To document, I recorded the conversation, transcribed it, and then edited it. The resulting text is my best effort to stay true to their original voice, while making the piece grammatically sound. The photo features include photos and a statement directly from the photographer. As the editor and graphic designer, I handpicked the featured photos and arranged them on the page. For the culture section, I worked closely with Derek Smallwood, corresponding over the internet for months to ensure that his vision was adequately captured. Derek’s piece represents my own dream for Theory to be more than an art journal. Theory’s channel of communication reaches beyond visual art. It includes independent journalism and editorials and with the aid of the website, it also includes music and film elements. Theory is an Independent voice that seeks to educate and entertain. If you share in my vision of an independent, Bozeman based arts and culture publication, I ask that you reach out and support it in any way you can. Theory is new, and will need help to grow beyond it’s academic roots. I plan on making it a regular quarterly publication with a larger distribution network. The second issue is slated to be released in August 2012. My sincerest thanks go out to all of those who helped me get this first issue together, from my teachers and classmates, to all the contributors, advertisers, family, and friends who helped along the way. Thank You. Sincerely, Brian Thabault

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is the natural number following

Eight is considered a lucky

7 and preceding 9. The SI

number in Chinese c u l t u re

prefix for 10008 is yotta, and

b e c a u s e i t sounds like the

for its reciprocal, yocto. It is the root

word meaning to generate wealth, Pinyin.

word of two other numbers: eighteen

Property with the number 8 may be

(eight and ten) and eighty (eight tens).

valued greatly by Chinese. For example,

Linguistically the word originated

a Hong Kong number plate with the

from the Old English ehta, eahta, of

number 8 was sold for $640,000. The

Germanic origin; related to Dutch and

opening ceremony of the Summer

German acht, from an Indo-European

Olympics in Beijing started at 8:08 and 8

root shared by Latin octo and Greek

seconds (local time) on August 8th 2008.

okt. derived from Middle English eighte.

In Typography, the number eight traditionally has an ascender, meaning that the top of the letter-form extends above the X-height.

Octophobia is the fear of the number eight. It is associated with being trapped on a path. Imagine viewing an ice skater tracing a figure eight on the ice. As they take one corner after the next it can seem as if they will never escape from this systematic ritual. Fear is also associated with auto race events that feature drivers managing a figure eight course. There is even a racing league that refers to itself as F.E.A.R. (Figure Eight Auto Racing).

The figure eight turned on it’s

All spiders, and more generally

side is the symbol for Infinity, an

all arachnids, have eight legs.

unbounded quantity greater than

An octopus has eight tentacles.

every real number.

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Timothy Leary’s Eight Circuits of Consciousness 1. The Biosurvival Circuit (the Breath of Consciousness)

T h e e i g h t - c i rc u i t m o d e l o f c o n s c i o u s n e s s p ro p o s e d b y

2. The Emotional–Territorial Circuit (Freud’s Ego)

psychologist Timothy Leary

3. The Symbolic or Neurosemantic–Dexterity Circuit (the Rational Mind)

Larval

describes eight levels of function

Circuits

of human consciousness. The lower four, the larval circuits, deal with normal psychology, while the

4. The Domestic or Sociosexual Circuit

upper four, the stellar circuits,

(the “Adult” Personality)

deal with “psychic”, “mystical”,

5. The Neurosomatic Circuit

“enlightened” states of mind, and

(Zen Yoga Mind–body Connection)

with psychedelics. Association of this model with drug use has earned

6. The Neuroelectric or Meta-

it some notoriety.

programming Circuit (Psionic

Stellar

Electronic-Interface Earth Grid Mind)

Circuits

7. The Neurogenetic or Morphogenetic Circuit (Buddha–Monad “Mind”) 8. The Psychoatomic or Quantum Non-local Circuit (Overmind)

The Buddhist Eightfold Path to Enlightenment The Noble Eightfold Path is one of the principal teachings of the Buddha,

1. Right view 2. Right intention

Wisdom

to the cessation of suffering and the achievement of self-awakening. It is

3. Right speech 4. Right action

used to develop insight into the true Ethical Conduct

All eight elements of the Path begin with

6. Right effort

8. Right concentration

nature of phenomena (or reality) and to eradicate greed, hatred, and delusion.

5. Right livelihood

7. Right mindfulness

who described it as the way leading

the word “right”, which translates the Concentration

word samyañc. It denotes completion, togetherness, and coherence, and can also suggest the senses of “perfect” or “ideal”. ‘Samma’ is also translated as ‘wholesome’, ‘wise’ and ‘skillful’.

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JOSH MANGUM You started your artistic career with a more photorealistic approach. At what point did you decide to venture into more abstract styles? In my younger days, photos were the backbone of my compositions. It was a good foundation to understand 3D shapes on a 2D surface. Then I started collaging images, to create landscapes and worlds. Recently I have started working more with shapes, rather than definable objects. My paintings are layers of scribbles, done with multiple tools, multiple colors and mediums, multiple times. I outline shapes to define the recession of space and add depth to the piece. How did you arrive at your this current style? Lake PlAcid

When I moved towards abstraction it was a really aggressive, experimental approach. I had no clue what was going to happen. This style evolved from outlining the forms that would come out in my free aggressive approach. I realized I had been

way to display a piece?

working in a graffiti like process–intertwining

Some of the double images are kind of awkward,

shapes and color straight out the brain. I outline

because I don’t know how to hang them. Hanging

forms to create a believable space.

them sideways sucks, but that’s the only way

Some of your pieces can be turned upside down or on their sides to reveal different images, where did this style come from? It originated with my Human Nature piece. That was the first time that I had pulled something

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How do you decide which direction is the proper

you can see both images. I’m looking more into pieces that will either spin on the wall or that will have a more dominant direction. What is it about the Graffiti style that meshes well with your abstract photo-realism?

like that off. From there I opened my eyes to

Graffiti is a beautiful way to express your brain.

being able to put two images together, and found

When I came up here I became a big fan of line

all these shared relationships. It’s cool working

quality. I had one professor, Harold, who really

on pieces like that because it’s just a matter of

struck a chord on that point. The graffiti-esque

bouncing back and forth from figure to figure.

forms really work well with that because they

Every time I discover more and more–which

are meant to be made in a fluid, quick motion.

values and which line work can be shared by

I think of it as a dance on the canvas. It’s a

both images.

choreographed dance. ­

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City of Lion (opposite)


Some of your work borders on optical illusion. Do you draw any influences from the op-art world? Yeah, let’s talk about this effect. High frequency and low frequency images are something that I have been toying with for a while without really realizing it. I’m basically doing tight line work to capture your eye when you’re up close, but when you’re far back there is not only an accumulation of lines and values, but also really faded values behind the lines. I’m using that to pull out a whole different image. Walk us through the life of a painting from your new series. How long does it take to complete one piece? Forever. I guess I have trouble letting go of pieces. I like to completely surround myself with all my work. I wish I had a massive studio with every piece on the wall; I could walk up to any piece at any time and start working on it. I’ll stare at the work with my glasses on, with my glasses off. I’ll stare at it from this angle, from that angle; I’ll stare at it from this distance, from that distance; and then I’ll stare at it some more. Basically, I wait. Once I have that vision, I get cracked-out on it. If I have the vision, I know it’s already there, so it allows me to be more aggressive with what I’ve laid down already. I always work with what’s underneath.

Reaching (opposite)

Human Nature (top left) Humanzi (top right) Genius (bottom right)

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As you add layers to your pieces, do you ever feel like you lose the image below? I’m looking into documenting the whole process with photos. I’m realizing more and more that I do lose a lot of imagery as I go. It’s a lot of push and pull as far as the visions I have, what I want to bring out. Sometimes I’ll cover the whole piece trying to pull something off. Then what I was trying to do won’t work well, but something else will happen so I’ll start moving in that direction. It’s interesting because you can still see the direction I was originally going from, along with the birth of what is yet to come. Have you had any life-changing moments of realization about your art that you would like to share? The human-lion, the first clean double image. I think that changed me pretty significantly. I don’t know exactly why. I feel like a lot of art is

Paint

incapable of reaching a lot of people just because of their perception. My art is a statement on how people perceive life itself. It’s very easy to get completely absorbed with the details and what you see right in front of you. If you step back there is so much more going on, there are all kinds of patterns and repeated forms. In my mind, my art is like some sort of transition from

It’s very easy to get completely absorbed with the details and what you see right in front of you. If you step back there is so much more going on...”

molecular to galactic science. On average how many faces do you put into a painting? Limitless. There are no limits on faces. I have a theory of “the face stack”. You can turn an eye into a nose and into a mouth, all at once. If you keep doing this and place them in the right spots, you can stack these faces into some weird patterns. I’ve had some critiques on my work where viewers didn’t like the faces and eyeballs. I’m a stubborn artist, I don’t give a damn. I will not stop painting faces; I will not stop painting eyeballs. I don’t care what the review is. There is a reason that faces strike a chord with so many people, there is a reason it is cliché. People see faces right off the bat. You can hold a photo of just about anything in front of a baby and it’s just going to shit its pants, but if you hold a face in front of a baby it’s going to have a reaction. I think there is a reason for that. I embrace it. Dragon Fly

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Doors of Perception (opposite)


JACLYN GUENTHNER Your pieces have a free-flowing feel to them. Do you know what a drawing will look like before you finish it? I have absolutely no idea. I usually have an image in mind, and sometimes I go into it without any plan at all. Usually I’ll think about an image, but it never turns out like I expect it to. It never materializes. It never turns into my idea. It always changes. I once read that “the hardest part of art is knowing where to stop.” How do you know when a piece is finished? Oh my gosh, that’s really hard. Sometimes I will be working on something and if I don’t know if it’s finished, I will quit working on it for a while. Then, I will look at it again. I feel like it reaches a point when it doesn’t need anything else, when

Everything has some sort of meaning just because it exists, whether it’s deep or not. The fact that it exists makes it meaningful in some way. It is what it is.”

you’re not compelled to do anything else with it; then it’s complete. Do you believe that art needs to have a deep meaning behind it to be beautiful? What kind of question is that? How do you answer that? (Laughs). Everything has some sort of meaning just because it exists, whether it’s deep or not. The fact that it exists makes it meaningful in some way. It is what it is. How important are titles to you? I think that they are helpful, but I struggle when titling my pieces. A title adds another element to art, a title gives the viewer something to think about.

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The title of your show is “Searching Uncertainty.” What is it about your work, or art in general, that inspire these feelings? The fact that we constantly have to make decisions; you can never escape making choices. We are always questioning what the right choice

Describe your ideal environment for creating art: Large and spacious–a place where I can make as big a mess as I want. I like open spaces. Looking ahead in your career, is there any medium or creative industry you would be

is. You have to make decisions, that’s part of life.

interested in trying out?

It’s the same way I approach my work, going in

I would like to do more printmaking processes

without having a plan and just working with the process. You make a choice and then you look at it, and that inspires something else. Each choice you make inspires a new choice; so you can never really know the outcome. I think that’s why I can

and combine painting with photography. I want to learn to work with technology as well. Computer things seem to be important this day in age. (Laughs).

never produce an image that is in my head. I’m always influenced by my previous choices, and you never know where your choices will lead you.

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DALTON C. BRINK Tell us about your background in art and what initially attracted you to painting and art in general. Well I grew up in Memphis and there wasn’t anything beautiful there, no landscape to look at. There was nothing intellectual, just music and that was it. When I was five I picked up the guitar and I’ve been playing ever since. I started playing

On Our Stroll Home

indie rock shows and punk rock/hardcore shows when I was sixteen. That opened me up to the world of DIY ethics. It was a shit-hole Mississippi town, so it opened my world view dramatically–a big paradigm shift between small town and big city. I grew more and more in love with music.

You mentioned UFOs. Do you believe that extraterrestrials have visited earth?

I was obsessed with it and played in bands for

Yeah, I definitely think so. I wouldn’t even

years, put out albums and things like that. After

call them extraterrestrial, I would call them

I got out of the Navy, I moved back to Memphis

extradimensional, from a different dimension all

and played in a band, but I got sick of playing

together. I believe they are still around, I don’t

with them because there was a lack of artistic

know if they are good or bad, but I think there

freedom. You had to run the band with a group

are probably more bad than good ones. I think

of guys instead of just yourself, so I decided to

there are good ones too though.

quit the band. I needed something I could do on my own without anybody telling me what to do. That’s why I started painting. I always wanted to be an artist, but when I was a kid I thought it was

Let’s switch gears. You started a DIY venue in Bozeman called The Cottonwood Club, what’s the story behind it?

something that you did or didn’t have. I didn’t

When I moved to Bozeman there was nowhere

think you could learn it. When I got old enough to

for me to show art. Bozeman was mostly tourist

realize that you could learn it, I started teaching

art. I don’t know, there was The Emerson and

myself. It was kind of my escape from the drama

stuff on campus, but I didn’t really fit into any

and stress of the band. I had also always written

of those categories. Neither did a lot of my

poetry and stories. Painting came out of that,

friends that were doing the most interesting

from illustrating my own stories. It kind of just

work. Bozeman didn’t have any DIY venue.

grew into its own story.

When I grew up, DIY venues were the door to

Your body of work has some recurring characters, is there a story behind them?

the world. It was out of necessity that I started The Cottonwood Club. Basically, It’s a space to build up an artistic community. It’s not a

The whole thing is a story. Everything I do ties

gallery, it’s not a music venue. It’s a place where

together, it’s all one story. It’s basically the story

people can come together, show their work and

of human struggle, of coming out of the human

express themselves. All the other galleries I’ve

condition to our enlightenment. That’s what

been to in this town have all these stipulations,

everything is about. The UFOs symbolize our

like you can only hang certain places, you can’t

hope for a higher consciousness, but you don’t

paint the walls, you can’t do all this stuff. Here

know if they are good or bad. It’s the hope of our

is a place that you can do whatever you want.

savior, or whatever that higher consciousness

I don’t take commissions on work, sometimes

is. The girl represents our innocence, and the

I ask for donations and I hardly ever charge

skeletons represent death. All the alarm clock

admissions, unless it’s a touring band–they need

birds represent time. It’s the struggle of humanity

gas money. The Cottonwood is a liberation of

trying to reach enlightenment.

artistic endeavors.

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At Sunset (opposite)


The Conquering of Death

In the Morning

Brainbows

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One of the regular events at The Cottonwood Club is Free Art School. How can it be a school and be free? That is contradictory to the great American tradition of profit-based educational institutions. By free I don’t mean money. Free means to liberate; it’s a verb, not an adjective. It’s not school in your typical sense of the word; definitely not your typical archetype of American education. What does the Cottonwood Club have in store for the future? Hopefully we have seeded something that won’t die regardless of who’s in charge or what space it’s in. We’ve been kicked out of a couple different spots already, almost got evicted from this spot. If the idea is there, that’s The Cottonwood. This place is free and offers freedom to artists, unlike all the bureaucratic galleries and art venues around that are solely based on profit. When something is based on profit, it dies if you close it down. Something that is free and not based on profit, but on more of an ideology, you

Called Home

Something that is free and not based on profit, but on more of an ideology, you can’t kill that. Even if you shut it down, it will just spring up somewhere else.”

can’t kill that. Even if you shut it down, it will just spring up somewhere else. Any closing statements? As a statement to fellow artists, we have responsibility. We’ve been dealing with form way too long. We need to start acting as if we are calling out through the flames and say something with meaning. It is our responsibility as artists to take abstract concepts and to make them into physical objects or images; make something to show the audience, to show the world an example of what humanity should be. Anybody who doesn’t take that responsibility seriously is a parasite on the world. We should be fighting that with all we can.

The Choice

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RUM THERAPY Photographs by Parker Hilton

hrough much of my adult life, frequenting

and the temporarily shelved anxieties and

nightclubs and dive bars has become a

insecurities resume. Upon recognizing my

way of coping with my own insecurities

frivolous attempts to supersede reality with

and perceived shortcomings. This tendency, to

hedonism, I have begun to notice a similar plight

drown out personal difficulties with whatever

in others. This escapist world, comprised of a

vice is most readily available, has become a

false emotional sanctuary, takes the form of a

recurring pattern. However, any reprieve from

close-knit community — yet upon closer inspec-

hardship is short-lived, being written off as a

tion, it is one that has been built upon teetering

fool’s errand. In the morning, the inevitable

pillars of personal insecurities and apprehension.

regrets, consequences, and hangovers set in,

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DUBL VSN Photographs by Jordan Roberts

ight provides an intrinsic component to life on earth. It is this mystique of the natural world that is poorly transcribed into a photographic image. We do our best, as photographer’s to create beautifully composed, well-crafted photographs as if to share that moment in time with the collective participants of the visual human experience. I welcome you in sharing my experience that ranges from Massachusetts to Alaska and special places in between.

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UNDER OCCUPATION Words and Pictures by Derek Smallwood

A 30 foot tall separation wall makes both sides feel like a prison

t’s noon and like clockwork the adhan from

read and write about. If (hopefully not when,

the mosque’s minaret across the street begins.

inshallah) Western culture and its three major

I hear the mosque closest to me first, then an

religions decide to call it quits and take the rest

ever-increasing round of beautifully sung shahada

of the world out with them, I’m sure the land of

verses echo across the city, each starting slightly

biblical antiquity will be the epicenter. Along with

after another until the whole city can hear the

Venice, Machu Picchu and Glacier National Park,

call to prayer. I am on a roof, staring at my Arabic

it’s a place I’ve always wanted to see before its

notes hoping that the foreign letters will imprint

gone.

themselves in my mind. I mute the music on my computer, a habit and sign of respect that I quickly learned. The power of the adhan always reminds me how far away from home I am. It reminds me of how different this place is and why I came here.

I volunteered to teach English in Hebron, Palestine, one of the most conservative and volatile cities in the West Bank. Yes, there are roadblocks, checkpoints, soldiers with machine guns, nationalist graffiti, separation walls, and identity cards, just like what you see on the news.

I often feel like I have some sort of secular

What has really got me thinking since I’ve been

original sin granted by my fortunate first world

here is what life under an occupation does to a

birth. I want to feel out of place, out of my

person. That is, how does the occupation affect

element. It’s good for you, right? The Israel/

my current coworkers, friends, students and

Palestine conflict has long been an interest of

neighbors.

mine. It embodies all of the things I love to study,

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The city has been occupied since 1968 and much of the surrounding area since 1948. It has permeated life here; it has become part of the psyche. The current generation of Palestinians have lived their whole life under the watchful eye of a dominant state with a finger on the trigger and total control over their access to land, water and ability to travel. When I ask my students what topics they want to focus on, the second most common answer is “vocabulary to describe the occupation,” right after “conversational English”. Even defining the word “occupation” to my students, who immediately asked what the actual definition is, made me think, how are they such friendly, happy people? “It means taking over something that doesn’t belong to you.” Silent nods. “It could also mean a job.” Shit, I thought to myself, that sounds horrible. “It’s a bad word, sah?” Enthusiastic nods. A woman paints a Palestinian flag on a child

The drinking water is a “gift from the American people.” It must boggle the Palestinian mind that the country that bestows your occupiers with the guns, aid and ideological support is also supplying the water.”

I have visited several “refugee camps” all of which are a complete misnomer; the term implies a temporary relocation until refugee status is resolved. In Palestine they have become sprawling, permanent cities without infrastructure. That makes the inhabitants within them a homeless people within a stateless country. In these camps and around the city, I see a message on the large aquifers: the drinking water is a “gift from the American people.” It must boggle the Palestinian mind that the country that bestows your occupiers with the guns, aid and ideological support is also supplying the water.

Separation wall graffiti, “Lady Liberty” cries over a dead child

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Separation wall graffiti in Bethlehem

None of the textbooks, UN declarations,

Education is considered paramount and my

general journalistic propaganda or even first

school has a long waiting list of potential English

person accounts I’ve read on Palestine has really

students (women are the most enthusiastic of

been able to convey the heavy fog of the occupa-

learners). Local activists excel at bringing the

tion. They do not show how it affects a person

numerous progressive community groups and

on a deeply implicit level. They also do not show

international NGO’s together in a tightly woven

the resiliency that explodes out of the people I

network. Everyone, from stay at home moms to

meet.

old hajj’s to teenagers, seems to be involved in

Significantly more people are conversationally bilingual in Palestine then any of the other countries I’ve lived in and visited. Many of them are fluent, and it is not uncommon to meet someone who is trilingual. “We like Americans,” I have been told, “We know the actions of your government may not represent you.” The intelligence of this apologetic under-

one of these community groups or working for societal development in some way. In so many small ways, I see daily resistance to the occupation. It’s not as obvious as the rockets Hamas fires into Israel from Gaza, but in many ways it can be much more effective. Nowhere in Hebron are the effects of the occupation more apparent than in the Old City. It is under the full control of Israel and home to 1,500 IDF soldiers stationed to protect 400

standing is astounding and always stated

settlers. The labyrinthine streets are covered by

without provocation. It was the third sentence

tarps so the settlers who live above the markets

my taxi driver spoke on the way to school the

can’t throw trash or rocks down on the Palestin-

other day, and the first thing the President of

ians below. Some families still live here, their

Hebron University said as he shook my hand.

rent subsidized by the Palestinian government

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as an incentive to live in such close proximity to the highly aggressive occupiers. The area is mostly inhabited by old men who sit in their one room shops reading the Koran, hoping for the odd tourist to come by or the local looking for a cheap deal. Their sons run through the streets, teenagers with a cigarette in one hand and a keffiyeh wrapped around their necks, the ubiquitous symbol of Palestinian nationalism made famous by Yasir Arafat, whose picture still hangs in every living room. When an Israeli patrol walks Children in Aida Refugee Camp. Their parents have been in this camp since 1948 and they have never lived anywhere else

by, the boys stop and stare. I think, how will they be resisting the occupation in ten years, with a B.A. in community development or an A.K. 47? For now they are content shaking my hand and

How will they be resisting the occupation in ten years, with a B.A. in community development or an A.K 47?”

leading me into their father’s shop to buy my own real Palestinian keffiyah. The Old City really epitomizes the rest of Hebron. It is beautiful and ancient, filled with trash and turmoil. The people live occupied with the constant threat of IDF soldiers kicking down their door. From what I’ve seen, those children of the Old City will someday be in my classes, not fighting in the third intifada. I’m no expert on the physiology of conflict and it really is hard to explain with words the mind-set of the people I’ve met. What I do know is they are deeply affected on both sides of the conflict. This is not something that is subtle or hard to see, it is blatant and can be found in nearly every conversation, just like the occupation itself. The precarious balance of accepting the occupation, while at the same time fighting it,

An Israeli patrol in the Old City

exemplifies a strength and tenacity in and of itself. It is an amazing blend of ardent nationalism and unfortunate realism that is impossible to explain. After a half century of occupation they remain positive and optimistic; a happy people who live their lives day to day just like anybody else in any other part of the world. It is sad, it is beautiful, and it is the reality of a life under occupation.

Hebron covered by a dust storm

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WORDS AND PICTURES Art and Concept by Tammi Heneveld

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Theory Magazine Vol. 1 Issue 1  

The premier issue of Theory Magazine, an arts and culture quarterly based in Bozeman, Montana. Theory Magazine features talented artists, wr...

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