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tv   Charlie Rose  PBS  August 3, 2013 12:00am-1:01am PDT

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>> rose: welcome to the program. we begin with jeffrey goldberg and an analysis of the israeli/palestinian peace initiative begun by secretary of state john kerry. >> you know, it's pollyannaish, let's call it that. and, you know, the problem for me, charlie, is that there's a down side to pushing so hard, especially a very unstable middle east. and the down side the that if you dash hopes, if at the end of this nine-month process that he's talking about, if you are back at square one, if nothing has happened then i have the potential for despair and when you have despair you have violence. and so you don't want a peace process to lead to greater violence, which is what happened of course, in the year 2000 after the collapse of the camp david negotiations which are also in retrospect premature or a little bit grandiose in their
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goals. >> rose: we conclude this evening with jr., an artist who has used photography and the public space with extraordinary resonance. so what is your core competence? your talent. >> um, you know, i guess trying things that's impossible and really believing in it. believing in bridges that seems completely -- i love to think of crazy ideas and even if they fail, even if i fail doing it the process of it is interesting. and you know what? as an artist i have the right to fail. why don't more artists take that risk? we are earned the right to fail. when you're a company you can't, it's a failure. when you're an artist you can learn from your failure. >> rose: jeffrey goldberg and jr. when we continue.
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captioning sponsored by rose communications from our studios in new york city, this is charlie rose.
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>> rose: u.s. secretary of state john kerry's push for nasa the middle east is taking shape. this week saw the beginning of of the latest round of israeli/palestinian negotiations in washington. chief negotiators, zippy livni and her counterpart, john kerry announced martin indyk as u.s. special invoy. kerry is hopeful to come to an agreement within nine months. jeffrey goalberg joins from bloomberg view joins me from washington. welcome. >> thank you. >> the reason i'm so anxiously await talking to you is because of your own -- what you have written and what you have said about the middle east and how well you know the participants. this is what you said. "just to be clear, this is what needs to happen by next april in time for the white house signing ceremony. jerusalem, the holy city in judaism and the third holiest in islam will have to be divided in a way that doesn't cause a global religious war."
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that's the case you make as to why this is delusional. has anything happened to change
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your mind or to become a bit more optimistic? >> the short answer is no and the long answer i also no. i'd like to be optimistic, i really would, and i do think that john kerry is doing a heck of a job at sort of energizer bunny of peace negotiations. he's indefatigable. and he does something which we've all realized over the last couple decades which is we know what the framework of an agreement should be. so he's simply saying, you know, forget the past, for get all of the difficulties, we know what the agreement will look like. let's just get there. it's pollyannaish, let's call it that. and the problem for me, charlie, is that you -- there's a downon
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side to pushing so hard, especially a very unstable middle east. and the down side is that if you dash hopes, if, at the en of this nine month process that he's talking about, if you're back at square one, if nothing has happened then you have to potential for despair and when you have despair you have violence. so you don't want a peace process to lead to greater violence which is what happened, of course, in the year 2000 after the collapse of the camp david negotiations which are also in retrospect premature or a little bit grandiose in their goals. >> rose: so here is my question. you know john kerry well in addition to what you just said. he knows all the facts that you have just outlined. why is he doing this? >> well, you know, a, it's the big enchilada. we've talked about this before. this is the overarching metof
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mythological dispute in the world. it's the biggest challenge there is. he's an ambitious guy and by the way he's an ambitious guy who's been involved in this issue for decades now. obviously feels this deeply in a way, by the way, that the president and his boss doesn't really feel at the same depth. he's been engaged for n this for years as a senator in the foreign relations committee. the problem-- this is a very interesting question you ask-- because it's not as if there's nothing else going on in the world that the secretary of state should be paying attention to. i would argue that there are three or four -- actually four issues in the middle east alone that are of greater consequence and greater urgency which, you know, of course, the seeming collapse of egypt which is the largest arab state, the linchpin of the middle east.
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there's obviously syrian civil war which is spreading over its borders. i say four because i count iraq's disillusion -- coming disillusion or collapse as a separate issue but it's related to syria. then there's the continuing challenge of iran. and so i'm not the only one saying this, obviously but a lot of people are scratching their heads saying you're working on this because you think it could work but that doesn't mean the other problems-- which you think are unfixable-- don't need american attention. and that's one of the things i'm worried about. >> rose: a couple questions about that. one is martin indyk. he wants him to be some kind of envoy. is he going to set this thing and get it rolling and then return to paying attention to syria and egypt especially. >> martin indyk is -- you know, i mean he's his own figure. he's a large figure in this. he seems to have been granted a lot of authority and autonomy from what little we know and obviously all the players
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understand that he's a powerful figure in this. so, yeah, there's a good chance that he'll be able to step back but it doesn't seem like that obama administration administration writ large is very interested in grappling with the challenges of syria, egypt, iraq iran, and so on. >> rose: i've asked you this before, speaking of minds. does anyone know exactly what john kerry's plan is? does he have some new take on this conflict that might leave -- you know the. >> some new formula, some level of creativity, enlarging the conflict, making it smaller. i don't -- i don't know. i haven't read anyone who's said they've known the answer to this. one of the things he's doing-- and this is going to be an acute challenge in this media age-- is he's asked all of the partieslle
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negotiations our government, the u.s. government, has been very good about not providing specifics. i don't think martin indyk is going to be out there briefing everyone on every sort of incremental step. but this is the question i've been asking, a lot of journalists have been asking is what's different? what's different in the formula? we understand there are things surrounding the issue that are different. the overthrow of morsi and return of the egyptian military which puts pressure on hamas and gaza. ox, that's an area we understand has changed and that ebl possibly a useful thing in these negotiations. but in terms of taking out a map of jerusalem and saying "okay, instead of drawing the lines this way, we're going to draw them that way" i haven't heard anything and i don't want to idly speculate. i've heard idle speculation, i've heard rumors but i haven't heard any specific formulas on
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refugees or borders or jerusalem that suggest a brand new approach and, of course, this one last point, in mind is that the problems remain the problems. you know, jerusalem has to be shared in some way. the palestinians are not going to settle for anything less than a capital in the eastern part of jerusalem, right? the refugee crisis, there has to be a formula for solving that. there has to be a formula for keeping many of the settlements in place while giving up others. the problems remain the same. the problems that bill clinton was dealing with at camp david. >> rose: but have the israelis in various prime ministers come close to meeting some proximity to solving these issues that we all know are at the core of the problem? for example, jerusalem, for example, borders, for example return to homeland -- >> not to be like -- you know,
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scrooge mcgrinch over here but here's the thing. ehud barack when he was p.m. and ehud olmert offered the palestinians more than netanyahu is capable of offering. and it wasn't enough. i don't see abu mazen giving up issues that yasser arafat, his predecessor, refused to give up. jerusalem is a perfect example. and 100% of the west bank and gaza with land swaps, '67 borders as the start of the negotiations. i don't see him moving in a much more moderate direction so, again, the question -- the question that always comes to mind is can the maximum the israelis can offer to the palestinians match the minimum the palestinians can accept? and that's where i see a gap
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still. that's the big gap, yeah. and, again, it's not as if this prime minister of israel, this current p.m., is going to be offering more than ehud olmert or ehud barak offered. >> rose: i can assume john kerry saying this is your chance to make a difference, to be a historic figure and i'm sure the first thing that prime minister netanyahu will say "not on my watch will i be seen on the prime minister of israel who threatened or in national security" or whatever dimension. >> well, here where's kerry has a play. this is interesting because netanyahu knows that israel is losing international legitimacy. he knows that the world is tired of this issue, it's tired of the occupation, it's tired of settlements. he know it is demographic problem. he wants to be the prime minister of a jewish majority country. that's the idea of israel, is to be a haven for the jewish
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people, the one country that jews have. and he's going to lose that, eventually, if he doesn't figure out a way to free the palestinians or to disentangle his country from the lives of the palestinians. so kerry is working hard on him. i mean, this i've heard. this is fairly obvious stuff where kerry is working very hard on him saying "okay, look, i don't know." it's two years, you've got five years, ten years, but eventually this isn't going to work and you have to make a decision in a matter of days or weeks, a few years from now that i'm giving you years to try to figure out how to get out of this pick that will you're in and eventually it's going to hit a crisis. and netanyahu-- unlike people to his right-- because they have moved to the right as he moved toward the center, people in his country don't understand. they feel god is going to provide a solution or a miracle is going to happen but netanyahu is a realist.
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he understands the numbers. he's good at math. >>. >> rose: are there people to the right of netanyahu who say look, this will end up as an apartheid like state, they will not accept that. they will say okay, so we do -- what we want to do is preserve something we believe much more important. >> this is ultimately about the veneration of land versus veneration of an idea. the zionist idea was, you know, have a jewish state in part of the historic jewish homeland. the land is a means to an end, the end is jewish sovereignty. there are people to netanyahu's right for religious reasons and hypernationalistic regions saying "there's no way we can give up the jewish biblical heart lant. if we do that we might as well not have a state as well." that's the messianic processes that were set into place or set in motion by the six-day war. so that's -- that's the fight that's happening. and netanyahu -- when he was prime minister last time, the americans had a difficult time with him then just as they do
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now. but he did agree under american pressure and supervision and negotiation to crede much of the holy city of hebron to the palestinian authority. so there's precedent for him giving up territory in exchange for advanced -- advances on the peace front. so he's a different guy than a lot of people to the right. that said, he's not going to go as far as his predecessors went, i think, in making these kind of offers. >> rose: but if ariel sharon was still prime minister in good health and you thought yitzhak rabin was still having all of the considerations he made and his own definition of israeli national security that we would have a different result? >> i mean, look, no way to prove anything that i'm about to say, right? counterfactuals. but i think the death of yitzhak rabin proves that assassin cans
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change history. i do believe that. i really -- i kneel very deeply. and, two, ariel sharon, i think sharon was moving toward an evacuation of much of the west bank. sharon -- these guys were hard heads, they didn't think the palestinians were going to thank them. they didn't think that they were going to have benevolent relations like we have with canada. but sharon saw the writing on the wall and he had the strength and the credibility to do that. only sharon had the that strength and credibility to do that. he spent his whole life fighting the palestinians in sometimes brutal ways. so he had a sound argument. so, yes, an assassination and a stroke may very well have changed middle east history. i agree with that. >> rose: it's clear that the palestinians have their own problem with the conflict between the palestinian authority and hamas and hamas doesn't seem to have changed. although there's some indications that they might
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doesn't seem apparent anymore. on the other hand, you wonder whether there might be some possibility for an evolving definition of a changing world of israel's national security which in the end is at the essence of this. >> look, ariel sharon pulled the settlers out of gaza. he put those settlers there 30 years ago and then a few years back he realized, wait, that's not a security bonus, that's a security threat. to he lifted them up and pulled them out. and, you know, that's what i think he would have done in the west bank. on the gaza question, it's interesting. the hamas is under a lot of pressure. they ally themselves with the sunnis in syria which alienated their sponsors, the see ya government in iran, egypt they lost a great friend in morsi, egypt has clamped down. egypt is now basically has a blockade against the gaza strip.
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you didn't hear about itit not s egypt doing it so nobody seems to care very much but that's the reality of the middle east. but hamas is under terrific pressure right now and one of the things you get -- at least i get frustrated about is this is a great moment for the u.s. to make some strong moves against hamas. to cut them off even further and the marginalize them and to use the moderate arab states who were alienated from hamas, to marginalize them further. because the weaker hamas gets the stronger the palestinian authority on the west bank, the palestinian authority of mahmoud abbas becomes. it's not exactly in balance like that, but a strong hamas is not good for the peace process. so there are some opportunities there and, you know, one of the interesting things is the middle east is changing so rapidly. the borders could shift, countries seem to -- the borders of syria could dissolve so it
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raise this is question why try to -- why would israelis pull out of territory when you don't know who's going to be in that territory in the coming years. so that's whe what netanyahu has in part of his mind and the other part he has john kerry whispering in his ear saying "look, you have to disentangle yourself from the lives of the palestinians or you're not going to have a jewish democratic state anymore. so he's in a mind. and i think kerry in his thinking understands netanyahu's bind and is trying to work with it to get him to move. >> rose: where are we on settlements today? >> netanyahu, you know -- it's easier for a right wing prime minister to slow the growth of settlements than a center-left. and they have slowed down. but they continue to add apartments including and especially settlements that everyone knows, the settlements that are well beyond the security fence, the ones that
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are sitting right in the middle of what would be the state of palestine. those continue to add or at least some of them continue to add so you're talking about -- and this is why i have a -- i take issue with the idea of announcing that in nine months we are going to reach a final status agreement. you've got to move 50,000 to 80,000 settlers in order to make that happen. unless you can convince the palestinian authority to accept them, accept these jewish israelis as citizens of palestine and convince those israelis to become citizens of the state of palestine. good luck with that. so we remember from when ariel sharon lived with the settlers out of gaza we remember what a trauma that was for israel. so we're talking about something exponentially more difficult. this is why i would like to hear a little bit more underpromising and overdelivering rather than these overpromises.
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>> rose: i'm surprised that kerry is playing this so close to his vest and not many journalists that i know know exactly what his plan is. and when i talk to government officials in the middle east who have seen the plane, have talked to kerry, they do find some promise, whatever it is they find some reason to get engaged, which is interesting. >> look, a lot of it -- i mean, here's something that i think i know. i can't -- it's not 100%. but i -- one of the things that kerry has done and this is to his credit and the obama administration's credit is, you know, they're focusing a great deal of energy on discussing bilaterally with israel all of the security requirements that israel would need if it withdraws from territory, from territory that will become the state of palestine and i think that emphasize -- i think i know what you're referring to here and i think that emphasis, the americans have high level generals talking to the israelis
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about the security problems, that is causing -- that is giving the israelis some kind of solace or some kind of -- it's making them calmer than they otherwise would be because, you know, what kerry understands and i think a lot of people understand is that the israelis when they pulled out of lebanon they got hezbollah. when they pulled out of gaza they got hamas. you're going to have a very hard time convincing israelis in the current middle east to pull out of territory after they've done it twice and gotten rockets in return. so kerry's insight is, you know what? i've got to work assiduously and creatively on figuring out what the post withdrawal security arrangements will be for israel that makes the israelis confident and secure. >> rose: there's always the argument, too, you become secretary of state, a job that you have long wanted and if you
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become secretary of state and you've had a long-standing interest in foreign policy it's one of the unsolveable problems and you say -- i mean, i have no shot here, but i'm going to give it my best while i am the remaining three years of my stewardship of this country's foreign policy. even though it originates from the white house, the president is giving me -- if you can do something, do it. >> rose: let's be clear. this doesn't originate from the white house in a crucial way. this is john kerry. if hillary clinton had wanted to do this four years ago she could have gotten the room to run with it, but for whatever reason hillary clinton stayed away from this issue. i think she stayed away in part because in her analysis she wasn't going to succeed. and john kerry -- you know, look these are all people with sizable egos and you're exactly right. let's put hit in the crudest terms possible. you get a nobel peace prize if you solve this problem.
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this is not armenia and azerbaijan where we can make page a-15 of the "times," even if there was a break through in negotiations. this is a big deal. and so the temptation, the siren call in a way, it's a huge temptation. and, you know, it's very hard for me to -- even though i am pessimistic it's hard for me to begrudge the idea of trying. i just think that -- and i've written this in the recent past that there was ground work to be done where the u.s. talking directly to the israelis and the u.s. talking directly to the palestinians separately the u.s. talking to the israelis about settlements, the u.s. talking about the palestinians about economic development and lowering the excite level, anti-israel incitement level in education and the media. things you could have done separately to create a better atmosphere. better conditions for the eventual bilateral negotiations.
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i think the one thing that needed to be said about kerry for sure is that he fetishized to some degree the importance of the bilateral talks and i think it was a bit premature to have these bilateral talks but now we're in it so we'll see what happens. >> rose: we will, indeed. thank you so much for joining me this evening. >> thank you. >> rose: jeffrey goldberg. we'll be right back. stay with us. >> rose: jr is here. the french artist keeps his real name secret. it is just one of the ways that he ae voids being categorized. he started off as a graffiti artist in the gritty suburbs of paris and then after finding a camera on the subway he began to take photographs of his friends. he printed large copies and pasted them around the city. during the paris riots in 2005, his photographs attracted international attention. his star was born. he went on to paste portraits in the favelas of brazil, liberia, and the separation wall in israel. his latest project is called
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"inside out." it's the subject of a new hbo documentary and here is the trailer. >> when you do the graffiti, you actually look for people to take then when i started taking those photos i got much more than that (speaking french) >> we are always seeing pictures of the face. now it's people. >> you can ask me how do i end up? i don't know. and that's the beauty of it. >> rose: it looks great. tell me what i just saw. >> (laughs) you just saw basically the documentary who followed a project i did two years ago and
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i say now i'm going to flip my art. i've been doing pasting, enlarging photos 123r years. now i'm going to stop and let you do it. so all the people who say "you should come to my community and paste" i say "you do the photo. i'm going to print it for you but i want you to paste it where it makes sense for you." and in two years, more than 150,000 around the world pasted in 10,000 cities photos they took in places that made sense for them. >> do you keep your initials-- jr-- for reasons of privacy, reasons of mystique? or reasons that you simply have some fear in being known who you really are? >> you know, i use them since i'm, like, 14, 15, because i was doing graffiti. so at that time it was about writing your name, you say "i'm writing my name, that's me." but you hide. and i didn't want to get fined for that. >> rose: exactly. that's the fear part, too.
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>> then i started taking portraits of people and pasting them and i'm like it's about them, not me. so why would i change? also it was still illegal. 900% of my work i've done around the world i didn't ask for authorization. slowly those portraits get the attention, i wanted the people in the media to know those people that i was highlighting. so the way that where they would gain anything by say mig name and face and recognized in the street. so i can travel anywhere when i take off my glass and hat. last year i went to north korea in my real name. and i'm anonymous. >> rose: what did you do about north korea? >> my art is about searching the limits of what's possible and what's not. so i wanted to go see where the limits are and i definitely got limit there is. i couldn't do anything. >> rose: watched all the time. they had you under surveillance all the time. >> exactly. but i was curious to see. that was -- much of the project i've done it was like okay, i've
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seen that place on the media, i want to see by myself. that's how i started my project, just taking a flight and going there. and most of the time taking your ticket online is actually the clearest part because you're like, i have to go, i have to go. then you get there and everything seems easier. everything seems like -- people are like, yeah, and i just got all those places and i was like let me see if i can paste and then i could. but north korea was definitely not the case. >> rose: but everything seems to begin with a question for you. >> exactly. but as an artist you raise the question, you don't necessarily answer it. >> rose: do you take into your own sense of this that you own it, that is your position? that you will share but you own it? it >> it's interesting -- >> rose: i'm not talking about monetizing. >> definitely. when i was pasting my first posters i did it with the community and it was in the
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suburbs of paris, the really big one, i could don't interior because the state sued me for that. so i couldn't show up, i knew the police would catch me. so i had to leave the people and i see them answering the questions and they would answer in their own way. they would make theirwn formula of what art means to them and i was like, whoa, their explanation of it is much more interesting than mine. >> rose: exactly. >> so i kept on going this way and when i think about the projects today and throughout the years i realize i have that to speak about what i know, the interaction i had, but i couldn't speak for them about what they feel about it. now, just about then i'm just the printer, when i started that people told me why are you giving your secrets away. why are you telling how you print? you're printing for the people, sending them photos so they're basically copying you and i say no, the more you give, the more comes back and the people took ownership of them, they own it. >> rose: what comes back? >> inspiration.
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since the last two years i've been printing photos, photos, photos and sending them. and when i see what people have done, in tunisia during the revolution they covered all the portraits of ben ali by their own photo. >> rose: they put their photo on top of the posters of ben ali, the former leader of tunisia who was overthrown. >> exactly. and i was like even if i had the balls and the idea it wouldn't have made as much sense as them doing it, the people. that's why i was like okay, as an artist i have to accept that. for me it's just magical a-to-see this art going around. sometimes i'm going in a place to see a museum and i walk down the street and there's just posters and i'm like, wow, i never met those people but we're saying something and when i met themsy love to see what the difficulties because it's not about the pacing. it's about the process. and that's the beauty of the art
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is you have to -- when we did times square in new york the people that were pasting, all they were saying about it is oh, we made people and i pasted it. it was interaction. we live in social media, we live through computers. when we recreate anything, interaction between people, something magical happens and for me that's one of the most important things in my art. >> rose: so what is your core competence? >> my core -- >> rose: competence. your talent? >> rose: >> (laughs) >> you know, i guess trying things that's impossible and really believing in it. believing in bridges that seem completely -- i love to think of crazy ideas because even if they fail, even if i fail doing it the process of it is interesting. and you know what? as an artist i have the right to fail. why don't more artists take that risk? we are the one under our little
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hat that has ha the right to fail. when you're an artist you can learn from your failure. in tunisia with when they pasted the photos over the leader, the dictator portraits, hundreds of people went in the street and that's in the documentary and they scratched them down. and so i saw that because i went there to witness and they said your sproj ail your. look at the crowds of people. the army was coming. it was a real mess, i've never lived that myself on my own project. and then an old man came and said "calm down, everyone." and he told to the people "you have to right to paste." they have the right to take it down. this is a democracy and it's the first time we're enjoying it. and he just put everything in perspective and he was right. and never had the right to touch their wall and now they can. >> rose: do you feel like you're on some kind of that tra jek some kind of journey?
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and where's it going? >> that's the crazy part. if you look at all of my projects and i went to israel and palestine and then i did africa, brazil, and i was like, okay, i'm waiting for a place where they're going to tell me stop, wrong place, turn back. and it never -- i never find that place. and i'm going to let people do it and they did in the afghanistan and iraq and places i would never have imagined. and each of my projects respond to the past one so i'm always on a journey where i'm not having a vision of what i'm doing but that's what i've learned from that projects because i'm going to build on that. >> rose: you're building of what came before. >> exactly. >> rose: what do you mean by "activist"? >> when i started in front of that camera i called myself a photographer. and then i was like all right, i'm pasting photos because i'm not really a photographer, i spend more time pasting, then i thought okay, if i put them in
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those places an i an act list? then i said no, i'm just an artist. the artist covers everything. i'm a printer but it's my art process. >> rose: and artivist, you are? >> i guess artist is stronger than activist because an artist you can cross much more borders than an activist so my work as an artist has been welcome anywhere arld the world. >> rose: in 2011 you won the ted prize which is a big deal. lots of smart people compete for that because in the way chris anderson has set it up. what did you do to win that prize? >> (laughs) i don't really know but what i know is when they call me and asked -- i asked them what was the ted prize. >> rose: when they called you to tell you you won you said "what is the prize"? >> i had a real interesting skype interview, i'm watching on how high finance and everything
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-- my model is simple, i sell my art work in galleries and i reinvest in projects. so when chris told me "you won $100,000" i thought where are those funds coming i don't want it if it's coming from these people and he snowed, it's not. and we had this interesting talk about -- for family to keep on and when i search more about the ted prize and i realized that i would speak to millions of people -- >> rose: so what did you speak is what i want to know? >> i was like okay, if i speak to those millions of people i want to start a project and i had -- the ted prize is about making a wish and i decided okay if i speak that number of people i would them to be involved and that's how i started insideout. >> rose: when you won the ted prize you said "i wish for you to stand up to what you care about by participating in a global art project and together we will turn the world inside out."
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>> exactly. i lad the feeling that -- it's easy to go online and say i support save the dolphins. it's something else to go in the street and paste your photo that links to your name and stand up for something and what's interesting, i'm standing in the same poster to whoever asked me. but depending on the country where they live it means something completely different. so a guy who paced in iran risked 20 years of jail. where a guy in bhutan faced a $200 fine. it's interesting because in some places it's seen as art, in some it's seen as crime. and this piece of paper can be seen as a weapon in some place and that's why in tunisia i -- it brought up all those discussions. they do in the schools and they had to annoy each other. for me it's piece of paper and people decided to make it activism, artist projects, whatever they want to call it. >> rose: you've also said about inside out that it's a
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thermometer of our society. it takes the temperature of our society. >> it's like a mirror of society. the more i receive photos -- when i have receive knowing toes from the arab world, what's going on there? oh, arab spring is going on. then i received it from russia and two weeks later there was 200,000 people in the streets. people when they express themselves they look whatever way they can and that's a peaceful way of doing it and some supreme used it and did march which is holding a photo. there's nothing more than that. >> rose: where is home? >> (laughs) you know, i have the chance to have a group of friends and crew that i travel with and i travel a lot and i live in paris, new york, but i'm always on the road right and left my friends are around me so for me home is where my friends and family are and i travel a lot with them. so the journey is easier that
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way. >> you also -- the connection you're making to people, what's the feedback from them? what did they say that resonates for them? >> i guess the first part is they want to exist. there's dig dignity. and then they realize by going through that process they have to convince people. it's easy to go and say "charlie, can i take a photograph of you?" and when they get it back they're like -- and you're like -- so you told me you're going to paste my photo. yeah, i'm looking for a wall. then my journey starts. all right, need to find a wall and talk to the grocery store, hey, you have that wall on the corner. i have these photos with charlie and other people, we want to say we stand up for this. okay. you can take it. okay, who has glue, who haswate?
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can you h and then at the end what comes out is that feeling of community that's a really strong feeling that i found out in all the places around the world. and even when i did times square in new york i thought that would be the most commercial place or whatever, i had that feeling spending my days in times square there was a community in new york that came together around the projects. even in such a city where everything is busy we managed to do it. >> rose: community is an important world. the other important word you just mentioned is dignity. at the beginning of the arab spring that was the most important word that people uttered. it was about dignity. >> you know, when i was young i didn't travel much and i only traveled through my art so i came to those places really naive, asking people showing them a book of my passport sand saying hey, that's what i did there and i'd love to come to your community and people said let me explain you first the
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community, you need to understand. and each time i realize that there was -- i understood my role as an artist is not necessary to make changes but to inspire changes. >> rose: inspire? >> yeah, inspire changes. and each time i was like, why? you are living in hard conditions that as an artist i'm not going to change that. a so why did you let me do the sfloj and they say because we want to exist, we are the same as they are. we're humans, we don't want to be seen like this or like that. so by pasting a photo, that's what we want to show. we want to show the life in a society that where women are heroes. and even in the favela, it's controlled by a really large cartel of drugs that never let anyone go in there. it's the first time in brazil and everyone told me you'll never be able to do in the there. and once i met the head of the traffic there and i didn't want
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to pay anything, i was just like someone told me that was the last step, i had all those photos and i try to convince them there were three of them and they asked me a really simple question like what is the purpose of your project? you know, it's art, i took these photos, i want to paint them to help out the community. >> rose: why are you doing? this? >> the people who showed me their face i dead these photos. how do you finance? and all those questions and they never said yes but they never said know and i was like those guys never put it and they let us cover the entire -- >> rose: they never put a foot in the museum and they let you cover the entire still >> yeah, and i was like okay, so art can cross borders that, you know, maybe no one else can do. it impressed me so i thought i'm going to have to try further. and each one people said we're not looking for food, we're
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looking for dignity. and i heard it in all those places but i couldn't prove it until inside out. in inside out i said i stay home, they do it. let's see where they do it. in all those places, thousands of places that i've never been the first thing they did was to paint their face on their house, the roof. >> rose: i think of dignity as the ability to be human and suggest, sometimes that the hottest place in hell ought to be reserved for people who assault someone else's dignity, their humanity. >> that's true. people fight for their dignity. >> rose: talk to me about the paris project, portraits of a generation. what did you do that sort of galvanized -- >> i pasted photos on the face of that community in paris in 2004. the city sued us, but they never took it down because they were like other, if we take it down maybe a riot is going to start. but a year later th whhysieal rn
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france in that neighborhood in front of the photo of the guy holding his camera like a weapon. and suddenly everyone was calling me and being like, whoa, your photos are all around the news, around the world. can you photograph the riots? and that was -- i was 20 so ten years ago and i was like, whoa, that's the first time i can gate job offer for what i'm doing and i don't want to take photos and let them go to the press. i want to control my image from a to z. so i went back to the neighborhood and i said, guys, in time i don't want to take group shot, i want portraits, if you have nothing, i want you to play your own caricature because from paris we see you as a monster. so i want you play on. that i'm going to paste you in paris but with your name, your age, your building number. so you go from someone in the media that you don't know who he is to someone that you can't actually go and knock at his
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door. that's how i started the whole 28 millimeter project. >> rose: tell me about this photograph, this is the one you mentioned, paris in 2004. >> for me, this is the beginning of my journey. if even if i started pasting four years before, but that image took a really strong meaning for me because i didn't know that my work would have so much discretion with the media in the way that he was holding his camera like the weapon but most of the people think it's a gun and even when i did it in london the director told me, you know, we can't really is that, we can't have a guy like that with a weapon. i said can you look at it one more time. and that image that neighborhood just got completely destroyed. they took down the buildings. so for me it's like having the whole journey of rehabilitation in one place and i've done a project that i'm going review later this year about that description.
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>> rose: is this from face to face? >> exactly. >> rose: this this is april, 2006. tell me about that. >> you know, israel, palestine, you would think you go there and you have cliche of what's going on on one side and the other side. i went there with those cliches so when i put my first step? palestine i'm like "i'm gonna get shot. i'm gonna get shot." and i walked there and people looked at me like "whoa, what are you scared of?" i'm like i have this idea, me and my friend marco, we're here and we thought that maybe it would be possible to photograph people that are doing the same job on both sides. people say yeah, sure. what are you looking? like a hairdresser, do off hair dresser? yeah, sure. come here. so here's a hairdresser. well, what does he want? he's from france and they're doing this project and they're going to photograph you and they want a hairdresser on the other side. yeah, sure. i said, no, wait i have to explain that i'm going to paste this photo really big next to the israeli guy so if there's a problem he will be the one in trouble and same for the other ones. yeah, sure, no problem.
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i sign your paper, whatever you need. and then at the end he tells me now you do it. like, all right, i have all like 20 jobs, students, teachers, all of them, they all accepted. well, that was easy. seriously everyone accepted, even the rabbi, the priest and the imam. they all signed the paper. i said i'm going to put your name on it. they say yeah, no problem, do it now. so i went back home, i was like okay, i can't have any authorization, i'm going to have to go back. i said i'm going to rent a car, whoever wants to come, i have six days. we went there and started pasting wherever and people -- we started in palestine and big groups of people going what is this? and the army and everyone. and we start pasting faces and they say, oh, it's this guy. who others? so it's two people doing the same thing. and two people, two hairdressers yeah, but who are they? there's an israeli and a palestinian. and then big silence.
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and then i was like so can you tell me who is israeli and who is the palestinian? people would look like and be like "i can't tell you who's my own brother." that's the palestinian. and like wrong one, he's the israeli. >> rose: (laughs) >> and we started pasting all over and they said you know what? we let you do it on that side but try the other side. and when we went in israel we had the exact same thing. and that's when i realized that the limits are not where we are think they are. that people were much more open minded than i thought and the posters are still up there out. >> so what was their reaction to the fact that they got it wrong? >> you know, it's -- they ask me of course, was it linked to any brand or organization? when i said i was just an artist they were like okay, that's fine show me another one. and those di cushions bring the region and i remember i came
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back and was like wow you did it i had a great time, that was holiday. >> rose: and it's called face to face? >> yeah. >> rose: this is brazil but a lot of your stuff has an urban connection. >> yeah. >> rose: is it because you feel the -- >> for me it's better gallery. and thousands of people say in brazil the media couldn't get so they filmed by helicopter and they were retransmitting on t.v. with the number saying "if you know what's going on, please call that number." and i never do press releases. i don't know what's going to happen and it happens if it happens and basically there people started to say when it was finished i just left it t country so the media were all down the hill and all the interviewed -- it's actually from the woman that i photograph and that's it. >> rose: a couple more photographs just to see. we talked about this. this is tunisia.
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>> that's actually an image -- >> rose: so this image on top of ben ali. >> yeah, the people did it. that's for me the power of inside out is that, you know, i always start -- like the more i went into project, actually, took a step back and back and inside out is the like the biggest step back i could take. i was like now you do it. and seeing them doing this in tunisia was for me the living proof that the community would always be stronger than me. and so that's why i created a project where they become the artists. >> rose: it's important where you paste them. exactly. there's no question, you can take photo, i can take a photo. it's what we do with our images. and walls are a strong medium. so what do you do with them? this which place do you put them would have a different meaning than in tunisia or france oar here. >> rose: finally there's this from new york city in 2013.
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this times square. >> and the crazy thing in times square is we put out a photo booth where you take your photo and five second later off big enlargement and i wanted times square and times square lens did a great job getting the authorizations with the new york city. >> rose: time square alliance did all all that? >> yeah. and the crazy thing is that when people pasted their face on the floor there was all this interaction and then slowly we took over all the billboards even now in times square you can see one of the largest billboards in times square have all the faces on it. >> rose: somebody in liberia said you've been here for a few hours trying to understand discussing with your fellows. during that time you haven't thought about what you're going to eat tomorrow. this is art. >> the narrative from the people have already been the most powerful. that's why when i go in those places actually i have some questions. i want to hear what they feel when they see an image.
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and i went to cuba with my friend jose pala, we did a big project there. it was the first time there was other photos than fidel so the people in the street would -- i thought that's what i want to hear. i want to hear how they see it, their frame of reference. that's what i'm passionate about to see in the different contexts and how people respond to it and dig any city a big word that comes out all over the place. their relation with art is in a complete utter -- >> rose: a boy in brazil said to you "with a bullet you can get one man, with a photo you can get 100." >> (laughs) pretty strong. especially brazil where we were pasting in the middle of, like, kids with huge weapons. and, you know, what's crazy is sometimes i would see them as
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kids, they would come and say "can i help paste?" and sometimes i would see them as like dark men and people who grew up and only know a crime as an answer. that was really hard moments because you have to view of the whole city, suddenly violence happens and everyone hides and then life goes back the next minute. and, you know, i don't go there for -- i don't search if this kind of context i just want to prove where art can go through process. >> rose: how ambitious with you? it's a word. >> yeah, it's a strong word. i guess i -- i never thought it would be a job to be an artist so i'm not like -- there's not a direct goal where i don't have that admission to be that artist. it's just that i want to see how far i can go keeping my limits, my friend. and that's the real important --
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i want to -- i want to keep the coat that i put to myself in the beginning all the way and even if those coats make me fail later because, i don't know, i can't finance myself, i can't find faces, i want to fail this way. i want to fail because of the limits that i put to myself. >> rose: thank you for coming. >> thank you. >> rose: jr. that you can for joining us. see you next next time.
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captioning sponsored by rose communications captioned by media access group at wgbh
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