Nation Estate is a 9-minute sci-fi short film offering a clinically dystopian, yet humorous approach to the deadlock in the Middle East. With a mixture of computer generated imagery, live actors and arabesque electronica, the film explores a vertical solution to Palestinian statehood. In Sansour’s film, Palestinians have their state in the form of a single skyscraper: the Nation Estate. One colossal high-rise houses the entire Palestinian population – now finally living the high life.
Each city has its own floor: Jerusalem on the 13th floor, Ramallah on the 14th floor, Sansour’s city of Bethlehem on the 21st and so on. Intercity trips previously marred by checkpoints are now made by elevator. Aiming for a sense of belonging, the lobby of each floor reenacts iconic squares and landmarks.
The story follows the female lead, played by Sansour herself, in a futuristic folklore suit returning home from a trip abroad and making her way through the lobby of the monstrous building – sponsored and sanctioned by the international community. Having passed the security checks, she takes the elevator to the Bethlehem floor and crosses Manger Square and Church of the Nativity on her way to her apartment where she prepares a plate of sci-fi tabouleh.
In addition to the film, the Nation Estate project consists of 7 photos (60x120cm or 120x240cm) and a poster (100x150cm).
Larissa Sansour was born in Jerusalem, and has studied Fine Art in Copenhagen, London, and New York. Her work is interdisciplinary and utilizes video, photography, installation, and sculpture. Sansour has exhibited in group and solo shows locally and internationally. She currently resides in London. More information can be found on her website.