My videos are mostly about memories, land, and displacement; having lived half my life in Israel and half in the United States, I have accumulated a multitude of memories, which reside on two separate continents.
I remember how safe I felt sleeping inside my little house in Pardes Hanna, the density of the trees, the patterns of sun and shade on my floor, the heat permeating the walls of my bedroom and the drone of the fan trying its best to keep me cool.
On my return to the United States in 2001, I began remembering faces and places belonging to Palestinians living inside and out of Israel’s borders, living as exiles, their homes and land taken, towns and villages leveled to make room for my people and our new towns and villages.
A child’s shoe, a doll with no head or arms; broken toys, found while walking the fields with my dogs. Who did I think they belonged to? I didn’t make the connection. I was blind to a nation that still holds the keys to the homes that we now inhabit. How can this be? My life there, my life here... I don’t feel really at home anywhere.... All any of us want, is a piece of land under a tree, to build a house, to sleep in a room and dream, while the leaves rustle in the wind.
Leona Strassberg Steiner: "From the beginning of my photographic career, I have searched for ways to take photographs that are not realistic adaptations of what I see or perceive. When my work suggests an altered state of consciousness, or a dream like, or painterly quality, then I know that I have been successful in my endeavors. My photos suggest a place in time that maybe really does exist, but maybe not in our present dimension or time. I prefer to leave actual details as an unknown, so that the viewer is never really sure where this picture may have been taken or if it is even from this lifetime or realm of consciousness. Having come from the dance world, the visuals that I created then on stage were never what they seemed; this way of looking at the world continues in my photography and image making today." Leona recommends the Innocence Project - New Orleans.