Key of Return
Since the exodus of Palestinians in 1948 and 1967 into numerous refugee camps in Palestine and the Middle East, generations of refugees have been waiting for their “right of return.“ When they left their homes, they took their keys with them, in the belief that their return was imminent. Since then the keys have been passed on from generation to generation as a keepsake—as a memory of their lost homes and as lasting symbols of the demand of the right of return, but also as affirmations of their human rights.
In 2008, the residents of the Aida Refugee Camp near Bethlehem in Palestine collaboratively produced what is said to be the largest key in the world. The key, weighing close to one ton and measuring around nine meters in length, was made of steel and installed at the entrance to the camp announcing: “our right of return is not for sale.“