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Governmental documents serve the explicit correlation of identity and affiliation. Palestinian artist Khaled Jarrar uses these attributes as samples for alternative models of identity and anticipates the existence of a state, which until now is mere utopia. He created a passport stamp for the State of Palestine, challenging the Israeli border regime, which he stamps passports of travellers and pedestrians in Ramallah, Berlin, Paris, and other cities since 2011. A couple of hundreds of participants carry a stamp of the State of Palestine in their passport until this day.

Jarrar is participating in this year’s 7th Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art (on view until July 1, 2012, free entrance) with a further aspect of the project that uses another official sign: postage stamps. In utilizing the Deutsche Post AG service called “individual stamp”, the artist produced stamps for the State of Palestine to be used in the regular mail. More than 20,000 stamps have been sold so far. Used on letters and postcards, they have circulated worldwide. Central element of the design is the Palestine Sunbird. It embodies the wish to create an open, independent country guaranteeing freedom to everyone to carry one’s life in one’s hand.

Jarrar’s passport and postage stamps tell the story of a state-to-be. But reality goes against him and other Palestinians. Instead of continuing again and again the discussion about a one- or two-state solution, using these stamps is a simple gesture that helps to create normality.

Read an interview with the artist by David Miller here.

You can buy the stamps at the counter of the 7th Berlin Biennale. To order stamps please contact Against a small surcharge, the standard stamps of 0,55 Euro were produced with the “individual stamp” service of Deutsche Post AG and are valid for regular mailing. One sheet of 20 stamps costs 16 Euro (plus additional shipping fee for mail order of 1,45 Euro). Stamps are sold by sheet only.