In May 2000, Israeli photographer Efrat Shvily first went to Ramallah in the West Bank to start taking pictures of the Palestinian cabinet ministers. The leaders were preparing for the decisive summit meeting at Camp David in the U.S.

Shvily wanted to help “establish” a new Palestinian state with dignified portraits of its ministers-to-be.
In September 2000 riots started in Ramallah: the Second Intifada had begun. Shvily has not returned since. With six portraits missing, the project is incomplete. She wants it to remain so, in order to indicate that this short period in history, when peace was on the horizon, has come to an end.

The Palestinian Cabinet Ministers series of portraits was part of the exhibition [based upon] True Stories at Witte de With (January 24 – March 30, 2003). At the Venice Biennial 2003 this series is shown in the Italian pavilion as part of Francesco Bonami’s exhibition Dreams and Conflicts – The Viewer’s Dictatorship.