The book Gegoten Lood/Cast Lead



Initiated by The Hague artist Ingrid Rollema, the project Cast Lead #2 took place in De Markten in Brussels in November 2011. Apart from an exhibition of work by artists from Europe and the Middle East, this project included an international program of lectures and debates reflecting on, among other things, the revolutions that were sweeping the Arab world at that time.

The publication Gegoten Lood / Cast Lead that evolved from this project offers a retrospective, but mainly focuses on the future of these revolutions, questioning whether the arts are able to relate to them in a critical way. This beautifully designed edition, with texts in Dutch, English and Arabic, includes contributions by thinkers, artists and theatre makers from Iran, Syria, Egypt, Palestine, Morocco, Belgium, the Netherlands and the United States. The publication is a co-production of the Flemish-Dutch House deBuren and the Gegoten Lood Foundation.

The book’s presentation has taken on the form of an impressive art installation, conceived by Ingrid Rollema in close collaboration with designer Guus Boudestein. This artwork consists of 1430 unique books set on the floor in battle-array. Each copy of the book has the name of one of the 1430 casualties (1417 Palestinians and 13 Israelis) of Operation Cast Lead - that took place in 2008/2009 in Gaza - on its cover. After its first presentation in September 2012 in GEMAK The Hague, the artwork – a temporary memorial to all victims of war violence – was shown in Bozar in Brussels in November 2012. The sold books are distributed all over the world to become silent witnesses. Click here to see a preview of the book

To raise the funds for its share in this collaborative project with the Flemish-Dutch House deBuren, Gegoten Lood/Cast Lead will again turn to crowd funding. For every page that is financed, the indicator on our homepage rises. Order the book for € 65 or donate a random amount to help us finance this project.

Click here to buy the book/support the project


Foreword of the book by Ingrid Rollema

"Because a thought is always the beginning….

A book usually stands on its own. This book does not. It is an important part of an art installation. Each book carries the name of each of the 1430 human beings who perished during the so-called “Operation Cast Lead” that was carried out in the Gaza Strip from December 27, 2008, until January 18, 2009. This military attack, that killed both Palestinians and Israelis, shows the unfair way that war is being carried out these days. Spread out on the ground, the books form a sea of names. The enormous number of books and their names makes the loss painfully tangible. We can also experience the silence that was forced on them irrevocably for eternity, and the fact that they can no longer judge or comment. The books fanned out on the ground become a work of art. Perhaps it gives some context to the enormous loss of life. Perhaps it stimulates the viewer to think and then perhaps to act. The methods of modern warfare are going through a stormy development. These “developments” have far reaching consequences that can touch each of us personally and literally. Drones penetrate like assassins in the night. Government leaders choose their targets without accounting to a democratic process. Everything seems transparent, but nothing is farther from the truth. After the installation of Cast Lead has been shown, the separate names from the victims will be spread over the whole world. This book is a rendition of a two-year process where we have used artistic process in an attempt to get an intellectual grip on a reality that seems to be more like theatre.
Our motive was to use images and metaphors in relation to power and violence. Artists, scientists, theorists, and political activists have tried to create appealing images and ideas over force fields that control us. They try to make sense of the global developments that are taking place, the role of the arts in this, and what the average citizen can do in an attempt to have a meaningful contribution to the decent existence that each and every human being deserves. New possibilities are considered, public information put under the loop and looked at carefully, and connections and relationships made.
We continually examined modern topics and looked for the role that fine arts and theatre could play.
The modern topic was indeed intense! Wiki Leaks! The Arab Spring! World- wide Occupy Movements! Everything took place at a fast tempo. Nothing was as it was before. Or was it?
In every society there are radical events. There are changes and developments that occur, and as they are happening, it is difficult to place them. The realm of art takes place in the area before things are clearly defined. They evolve, make visible and ground what was originally only sensed intuitively. This is the unique role and capacity that the arts possess. Aquest towards new forms of involvement. Cast Lead is Art as a project where the creators, the thinkers, and the spectators take responsibility upon themselves to work together. The book you are now holding in your hands represents a person whose life was brutally taken. It is also the result of a moral investigation about the essence of our existence. It is a process of awareness. Awakening a consciousness of how to reinvent and do things differently. A reflection via images and imagery that lead to something else.
Because the thought itself is always the beginning……."