‘A Close and Unbreachable Distance’: Witnessing Everything and Nothing

  • Christopher Harker Department of Geography, University of British Columbia
Keywords: Jayce Salloum, Soha Bechara, Lebanon, intimacy, subjectivity, spatial, witnessing, Arabic culture


This paper began life as my attempt to bear witness to untitled part 1: everything and nothing, a videotape made by Vancouver based artist Jayce Salloum. However, in doing (or attempting to do) this, I found myself bearing witness to a great deal more. Because in approaching Salloum’s tape, I couldn’t help but encounter Soha Bechara, the ostensible ‘subject’ of the piece. And meeting Soha also meant coming across Lebanon, albeit an always-already partial version. Working my way through these entanglements, I dwell on intimacy as a form of relating, and the proliferation of subjectivities that everything and nothing enacts. And in recounting the intricate spatial formation that developed as a result of this process, I also want to argue that enactments of witnessing are both inherently geographical and affectively charged.
How to Cite