from “Farm 54”
The graphic novel Farm 54 brings together three semi-autobiographical stories from the childhood, puberty, and early adulthood (military service years) of its female protagonist, growing up in Israel’s rural periphery in the 1970s and 1980s. The stories present the disturbing underground dimensions of adolescence, and the dangers and traumas that subvert the superficial tranquility of youth in the countryside. While these Israeli childhood stories take place in the shadow of war and occupation, they eventually also reflect universal feelings, passions and experiences. The piece in this issue is taken from the last chapter, "Houses," set during the protagonist’s military service in the beginning of the first Palestinian Intifada. The young soldier, posted in the occupied territories, is sent on a nocturnal house demolition mission.