After advertising on the ArtSchool Palestine website for a Palestinian artist with whom to collaborate, Ashery was approached by the Ramallah-based artist, illustrator and renowned architect Sameh Aboushi. Aboushi and Ashery sustained a long email exchange over many months, until they met at Qalandia Checkpoint and spent time together in Ramallah. Necessary Journey charts Ashery’s meeting with Aboushi, as well as other footage including Ashery’s father searching for his grandparents’ shoe shop in the Muslim quarter of Jerusalem’s old city. The video is an attempt to locate Ashery’s family history as Palestinian Jews within the current reality of Israel and its place in the Middle East. The video ends with a quote from Jean Genet’s Prisoner of Love.
Ashery has consistently grappled with ways of contextualising cultural and artistic collaborations between Palestinians and Israelis as part of her practice. Relevant works include elements of the project Welcome Home, as well as The Novel of Nonel and Vovel, a book publication, residency and live events with the visual artist Larissa Sansour.