Jerusalem, We Are Here


Marina P. began as a participant in Jerusalem, We Are Here but stayed involved beyond the original parameters. She showed interest in the direction of the project, and Dorit Naaman started consulting with her on a regular basis. She volunteered many hours helping with proofing the English text for the project (titles, subtitles, etc.). She also volunteered to facilitate the social media profile of the project, at which point Dorit felt that Marina deserved to be formally recognized for her major contribution, and asked her to become an associate producer of the project.


Jerusalem, We Are Here  was released in English and Arabic, thus targeting Palestinian, Arab, and international audiences. The project was designed online so that it would be accessible to Palestinians who have no physical access to Jerusalem. However, to the surprise of the team, it is often viewed in Israel. In collaboration with the Israeli non-profit organization Zochrot, Dorit Naaman did a three-day intervention in the neighborhood. In addition, Dorit guided or co-guided close to a dozen walks in the neighborhood, which she initially considered an aside to the main project. Now she thinks of online and offline activities (with Palestinians and Israelis), as part of the larger experience the project offers.


When Dorit Naaman reflected on decision-making for Jerusalem, We Are Here, she realized that while she wanted to practice horizontal decision-making, there was a period when the team went through changes so she had to make decisions alone. Later, during production, she deferred entirely to the participants’ preferences, out of recognition of power differentials, and the fact that she was also an outsider to the story. During the final stages of production and distribution, an organic team formed, and decisions were made horizontally again.


Jerusalem, We Are Here was planned as an in-situ installation. But as the project progressed, Dorit Naaman realized that the neighborhood was inaccessible and inhospitable to the participants. She also realized that a linear documentary would have very little exposure in the Middle East, but that most people in the region have access to the Internet. Eventually, the project content was configured as an interactive online documentary. The project also developed into a multi-platform site, with an online map which continues to be populated with information. A year and a half after the release of the interactive documentary Dorit decided to publish a blog for participants to post their stories.  None of these platforms were in the initial design; all of them emerged through the process.