The video installation CFJ1 presents a conversation between four men – all graduates of the French Christian school Collège des Frères de Jaffa (CFJ1), who reminisce on their school days while sitting in one of their former classrooms. This satirical autobiography is primarily sociopolitical. The characters’ shared memories reveal the repressive mechanisms designed to supervise the Palestinian student and promote his ignorance and the fragmentation of his language and identity within the hegemonic state education system. In this sense, Copti’s work evokes the absurd existence within the past and presence of the place where we live, where the arbitrariness of the Israeli state’s timetable represents and perpetuates a clear racial discrimination between Jews and Palestinians.
The absurd is also highlighted in The Truth, a video installation presenting a series of contradictory dialogues between two men revolving around fictitious stories about several locations in Jaffa that they turn into holy sites: a water tower, the port, a cemetery and an abandoned building. These are reinvented as Jewish heritage sites that serve to prove the historical link – since biblical times – between the People of Israel and the Land of Israel. This ridicules the Israeli discourse that mobilizes and often twists ancient history to justify that link and the Zionist ideology it undergirds while at the same time banishing the Palestinians from history and presenting them as history-less. The impersonation act of the Jewish theological determinism is a sophisticated and effective tool that nevertheless enables Copti and Buchari to overturn the construction of Zionist-hegemonic time by emptying it of all meaning.