The video and website, Do Trees Have Nationality? document my recent public art project, “The Olive Oil Tasting / Gift Exchange Picnic,” presented on Jesse Square in San Francisco, on June 3, 2012.
Invited friends and passersby were given the opportunity to taste several varieties of olive oil produced in different regions of Palestine and engage in a symbolic gift exchange. For receiving an olive branch, participants were asked to consider the olive trees in Palestine and offer reflections on one of several questions that address the rights of trees, how their identity impacts their survival, and what our responsibility is toward them.
Do Trees Have Nationality? raises questions about environmental responsibility in the context of borders, conflict and nationalism, highlighting the destruction of olive trees in Palestine and the impact this has on ecological and social sustainability.