Today, I’m feeling artistic. Perhaps a bit nostalgic, too. I never considered myself particularly talented in the arts in the traditional sense – painting never appealed to me, self-portraits frightened me, I was a mess at ceramics. What has always fascinated me, however, is the more contemporary, even common, art: graffiti, cartooning, calligraphy.
For today’s post, I wanted to simply comment and share on the freedom of expression through art. Though protests are often stereotyped with shouting, waving signs and trying to be heard through sound, silent protests are often overlooked or seen as insignificant. This could not be further from the truth. Artists use their brushes, their pencils and their canvas to create a protest that can be just as meaningful, and sometimes even more effective, than the more classic forms of action. The wall in Palestine has become a symbol of oppression, racism and apartheid. The horrible grey concrete not only disrupts the beauty of our land, but also serves as a daily reminder of the prison that we Palestinians are in. Protests of the wall exist through various organizations, support from outside of Palestine and actions of our martyrs, but the silent demonstrations from within need to be emphasized as well. While scrolling through other blogs and thinking about this next blog post, I came across two images that immediately struck me. Though I could speak of the wonderful graffiti for pages and pages, this image truly captures the fantastic blend of art expression, protest of the wall and a play on a common computer action:
This image is particularly beautiful with the clouds, blue skies and perspective looking up. It shows the side of hope and simply, yet completely effective, messaging. If only “deleting” the wall could be as easy at Control + Alt + Delete.
The second image I came across while looking at various Arab artists and using humor to get the message across. Khalid Albaih, a Sudanese cartoonist, created a number of images truly capturing the feeling and frustration felt across the Arab world today. The cartoons span across a number of issues, but this one jumped off the page for me:
Written in beautiful Arabic calligraphy is the word “Palestine,” split in half by the wall and prison that Israel has created. Notice the barbed wire and watch towers bookending the word “Israel” on top of the wall. Again the simplified message is so powerful – Israel’s occupation truly, physically and literally breaks apart our homeland of Palestine.
Check out this article for this image and others by Albaih: http://stepfeed.com/extra-bits/cookie-jar/cartoons-voice-arab-concerns-better-than-any-analyst/
Taking a moment to look at the signs of hope, hopelessness, and everything in between – art protest and expression shows the world the true nature of Palestinian struggle in a way that is accessible to everyone.
Expect some more art from me soon!