Archive for the ‘New Perspectives: Israel/Palestine’ Category

With such a dramatic title you might think this post will be about hard life in Palestine and how people suffer..but no! Even if the situation there is indeed as bad as some might know, people manage to live the best way possible, with a smile on their faces.

The title strictly referees to one of the artists we interviewed while we were in Palestine. Amer Shomali‘s vast work can provide a variety of proofs about a Palestine defined by creativity and not shown in media. A few references acquired from his stories, certain information from his website and several from his workshop helped us understand a new concept combining art with activism called “artism”.

“Pagliacci” is one of my favourite work from his portfolio. He claims to be a “self portray”, but from my perspective, very little details of the paintings could be linked to the artist. “Pagliacci” comes with a new version of a stereotypical paid happiness, and goes beyond the image of a joyful entertainer, often encountered in circuses.

The story starts like this:

Once upon a time, a man goes to the doctor to teat a soul illness.. he was suffering of depression. Life seemed painful, harsh and without any form of mercy. Beauty was absent, covered by dark clouds, spreading loneliness and isolation. A cruel and threatening world with no place for hope and with a path limited by vague and uncertainty, shaped the man’s feelings. Desperate, he was waiting for a last solution from the doctor.Experienced,  the doctor has encountered this form of behaviour many times in the past so he came up with the easiest solution – finding the happiness in others. 

“The solution is simple. The great clown Pagliacci is in town tonight. Go and see him, that should pick you up.”

While tears came out of his eyes the man said: 

“But doctor.. I am Pagliacci” 

(Shomali, A. 2010) 

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Different versions of the character could be find on Amer Shomali‘s website along with many other examples of his work : http://www.amershomali.info/pagliacci/

The reason I chose to write about this painting is strongly related to the dramatic story behind it, surely present in our contemporary society through many different forms.  The entertainer doesn’t necessary have to fit the characteristics of the word but it can refer to any hiding behind the smile.  Some call it strength, others  see it as a weakness while Pagliacci understands it as insanity.

Finally, it is a different perspective of the world which sends a direct message towards appearances.  Images can be interpreted, information can be misleading,  people are easy to manipulate, while media knows exactly how to use all of them together.

Written by Antonia D Hruscovschi

This is a film which came out last year September which stars Brad Pitt (Gerry Lane) as the main character. Gerry who is a United Nations employee transverses the world in a race against time to stop the Zombie pandemic that is destroying  armies and powerful governments, and is also threatening to wipe out the whole of humanity. Gerry, being a UN investigator is given a task to find out the source of the deadly zombies and he reluctantly takes up the role on condition that his wife and two daughters would have guaranteed safety.

Gerry and his team jets off to Southern Korea but unfortunately, few moments after their arrival, they are attacked by these deadly zombies. The whole team was wiped out but Gerry and one pilot were the only survivors. A former CIA agent advices Gerry to go to Jerusalem for safetly ,rwhere the Israel Mossad had established a safe zone way before the outbreak of the zombies. This implied that Israel was the only nation in the world that was aware of the future outbreak of the zombies. This is the reason why it had the chance to protect itself from the zombies and also from the rest of the world with its protective wall (Jerusalem wall).

 

Written by Cynthia Mbugua

Art is essentially the most profound expression of human creativity, both difficult to define as to asses. The artist chooses different rules and parameters which can bring an understanding of the art as result of choosing an environment along with a set of rules that determine in values are suitable to express a feeling or idea in the most efficient way possible for that environment. As general is defines by the set of rules setting the environment, visual art is an arrangement of colors, shapes or other elements that affect the sense of beauty and complete the beauty discovered in graphic or plastic objects. Generally, it is also a mean of expression and communication of emotions or idea, surrounded by a way to explore and appreciate the formal elements and representation of reality.

Posters became part of visual art for more than hundred years ago due to the evolution of art printing and color reproduction.

Either selling or simply informing they have became eye candy and one of the most popular form of contemporary art.

“Visit Palestine”, the poster designed by Franz Kraus in 1930 and second time published in 1995 by David Tartakover, comes as a valid prof of a healthy, ongoing, full of culture and history  Palestine, dating for more than a thousand years and fighting against the early Zionist propaganda efforts. Beautifully contradicting a Jewish narrative, the poster shows trim parks with green gardens, urban dwellings, and a central landmark followed by the Dome of the Rock mosque in Jerusalem.

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Probably in 1930 no thought the design could be updated several decades later with the following version made by Amer Shomali:

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Visiting Palestine became a challenge both for tourists as for the Palestinian citizens and represents the ongoing political issues between the two countries. The wall is symbol of the Zionist power and limitation for the previous owners of the occupied territory.

Amer Shomali’s poster won the first prize in Canada, but unfortunately could not bring the artist the well deserved recognition along with a huge amount of money he could not claim for copy writing.  Amer sold few copies of his version around and somehow his work got to Jerusalem where a printing company became rich over night by printing T-shirts, mugs or souvenirs.

 

 

References: 

Liberation Graphics (2003) Visit Palestine, Available at:http://www.liberationgraphics.com/ppp/Visit_Palestine.html (Accessed: 19th February ).

Shomali, A. (2009) Post (Visit Palestine) – The Guillotine , Available at:http://www.amershomali.info/post-visit-palestine/ (Accessed: 19th February ).

Written by Antonia D Hruscovschi

The Simpsons go to Israel

Michael Pocino does not mind to add a little satire for the ongoing conflict in Middle East. Palestine and Israel make one of the most “famous” conflict from the last decades. Different culture, religion, habits and especially different allies the two countries have not been able to reach an agreement yet. The Simpsons decide to take a pilgrimage to Israel and save Homer, but as soon as they get there they realise there is nothing left to save as he may not be worth the risk…

“The Greatest Story Ever D’ohed.”
The Simpsons.
March 28, 2010

Written by Antonia D Hruscovschi

International Emmy Awards in New York city has decided to offer the award for the best documentary, to the Palestinian production “5 Broken Camera”, bringing the first ever award for a Palestinian Film. The name of the movie was chosen in order to fit the narrative of the movie, as each camera had a different story but all of them related to the non violent manifestations in West Bank, more exactly in Bil’in.

Released by Kino Lorber, this Palestinian-Israeli-French co production comes with a different version about Israeli governmental orders and captures step by step the destruction of the 5 cameras as well as the Palestinian Land.

“I made this film … to share my story with you and all the world. We want what you want — peace and liberty. We want a good future for our kids so we need your support and your help. Free Palestine,” he concluded. (The Electronic Intifada, 2013)

References:

Haaretz (2013) ‘5 Broken Cameras’ clinches International Emmy Award, Available at: http://www.haaretz.com/culture/arts-leisure/1.560211 (Accessed: 15th February 2014).

Written By Antonia D Hruscovschi

Beauty in spite of death, a flower in spite of a tear gas bomb.

This is a peaceful and creative way of protesting, Palestinians put together against the cruel persecutions of Israeli government.

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Twelve km West of Ramallah, Palestinians from Bil’in express their feelings in a novel form against the violent suppression, often bloody demonstrations against metal dividing wall build by the Israelis. Flowers have been planted in empty containers of tear grenades used in repressive actions. While the wall is meant to protect both Palestinian and Israeli it comes as an deceptive illusion of peace between the two nations. Palestinians claim more than half of the cultivable land belong to them and it was destroyed and sized by the construction of the separation wall. In past eight years, almost every Friday, Palestinian protest the wall, often with violent demonstrations represented by the Israeli army. Tear gas grenades are a “must” in such demonstrations and it happened many times to kill in order to complete the full manifesto. 

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References: 

Gayle, D. (2013) Creative Palestinian gardener uses hundreds of spent tear gas canisters as PLANT POTS , Available at: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2441997/Palestinian-gardener-uses-spent-tear-gas-canisters-PLANT-POTS.html(Accessed: 15th February 2014).

Veress, R. (2013) “The art of protesting: Palestinians plans flowers in tear gas bombs”, Available at: http://selectnews.ro/arta-protestului-palestinienii-planteaza-flori-in-grenadele-lacrimogene-israeliene/ (Accessed: 15th February 2014).

 

Written by Antonia D Hruscovschi

 

 

 

 

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Once upon a time.. someone decided this will be the beginning of every fary tale. And in every story there comes a moment when you have to find the one to marry, settle and make a family. What better time to think of love and future than Valentines day? Sweet hearts, pink bows, chocolate and candies wrapped in purple, roses and romantic dinners are few of the commercial traditions of our capitalist society. Every year on 14th of February Valentines Day in such a way that it became part of the unconscious mind of the population.
The legend says Valentine was a priest from Ancient Rome and the one who contested Claudius the second’s decision to forbid marriage for soldiers. He considered that single men were better soldiers and more powerful fighters as their mind was fully concentrated to war. Valentine understood the injustice surrounding this order and confronted the emperor by performing secret marriages. Unfortunately, his benevolent acts have been discovered and he was killed on 14th of February. According to another legend Valentine sent the first card to his secret lover, signed with the message “Be my Valentine!”

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Word by word, with every year the Valentine tradition became all about love, feelings expressed and proofs of commitment. This is a rather complicated issue for Palestinian nationals in Israel for when it comes to freedom of expression and the right to marry the right one. While for us aspect comes first followed by family or financial situation for an Israeli-Arab the future wife will not be chosen according to any of these aspects. First, they need to know if the Israeli authorities will allow the two lovers to live together.

According to Boston Globe, the biggest problem for the Israeli government is that many Israeli-Arabs, with Palestinian ethnicity want to marry Palestinian from Gaza and West Bank. The relationship between the two territories is sensitive enough to test love with every opportunity as in the last decades, the Israeli government did not allowed Palestinians to cross the borders and see their families. Why? Because they considered marriage certificates are used as tickets for terrorist attacks.

For ordinary people, the restrictions imposed provoked the rise of wonderful love stories with endless feelings and the promise to reunite two destinies.

According to the reference mentioned above, Israel has around 1,6 million Palestinian citizens. More than half live in West Bank and Gaza are the rest of them are caught in between, united by their kinship but separated by the most powerful, democratic wall.

Rumours say there are thousands Palestinians living illegally in Israel as they are treated to be deported any minute only for the simple fact of loving someone from the other side of the wall. Still when love is true there is not concrete, distance, cuture or nationality that can contest!

 

Happy Valentines Day!

References:

Andrei, C (2014) Customs and Traditions , Available at: http://www.ziare.com/life-style/valentine-s-day/traditii-si-obiceiuri-de-valentine-s-day-1074652 (Accessed: 15th February 2014).

Matei, M. (2013) Palestinian lovers and their drama, Available at:http://www.manager.ro/articole/analize/ce-drame-traiesc-indragostitii-palestinieni-din-cauza-restrictiilor-impuse-de-israel-39349.html (Accessed: 15th February 2014).

Written by Antonia D Hruscovschi