The sci-fi lens provides Sansour with a portal onto the present-day reality of the Israeli occupation, while keeping some distance from direct representation. An extension of her past films A Space Exodus (2009), which took inspiration from Stanley Kubrick’s 2001 Space Odyssey (1968) to suggest that outer space may be the only place left for Palestinians to live, Nation Estate constructs an imaginary skyscraper with each floor housing a different city. Bethlehem, Ramallah, Hebron, and Jerusalem (the artist’s hometown) are each given high vantages over a speculative urbanity. Security checks in the lift when travelling between each level police the architecture, while symbols of the state’s national identity are presented in the lobbies as relics. It is a sterile, cold setting made hyper-real by Sansour’s graphics and an electronica soundtrack.
Apart from the film, Nation Estate includes still photographs and limited-edition prints in the style of vintage travel advertisements. Sansour harnesses the potential of hypothetical fiction as a contrast to common news images of her home country in destruction. It’s a fantasy that looks to escape, but not forget, the problems of reality—which despite its glistening towers keeps one foot on the ground.