He meets the Palestinian residents of Tel Rumeida, and the messianic settlers who have made their homes in a block of flats that stands on stilts on an excavated corner of the site. He meets the archaeologists who have attempted to reconstruct the history of the hill. He meets the soldiers who serve in Hebron, and the intermediaries who try to keep the peace in the divided city. The City of Abraham explores the ways in which Hebron’s past continues to inform its tumultuous present, and illuminates the lives of the people at the heart of the most intractable conflict in the world.
The City of Abraham is a journey through one of the world’s most divided cities – Hebron, the only place in the West Bank where Palestinians and Israelis live side by side.
It begins with a hill called Tel Rumeida, the site of ancient Hebron, where the patriarch Abraham – father of the Jews and the Arabs – was supposed to have lived when he arrived in the Promised Land. Platt tells the history of the hill and the city in which it stands, shares the stories of residents and settlers, and illuminates the mythic roots of the struggle to control the land.
Through a mixture of travel writing, reportage and interviews, The City of Abraham explores the ways in which Hebron’s past continues to inform its tumultuous present.
"You Only Live Twice is an intelligent ode to enchantment, to the possibilities that arise in their 'second lives' when all past expectations have been foreclosed."
– Chris Kraus
"The writing is out of the park — strong and surprising, a relay race of brilliant twirling, tossing thoughts back and forth like balletic rugby bros. Joynt and Hoolboom’s dances of disclosure are so courageous and generative, gifts to us all."
– John Greyson
The unspoken promise was that in our second life we would become the question to every answer, jumping across borders until they finally dissolved. Man and woman. Queer and straight.
Mike Hoolboom is an author and filmmaker based in Toronto. He has written four books, received more than thirty international film prizes, and enjoyed nine international retrospectives of his work.
Chase Joynt is a Toronto-based moving-image artist and writer who has exhibited his work internationally. He recently received a Mellon Fellowship in Arts Practice and Scholarship at the University of Chicago.
A contemporary everyman, James is also unmistakably himself, and The Meaning of Recognition shows him at his witty, learned – and heartfelt – best.