06 Oct 2014 21:00
Arts and culture have always figured significantly within the wider context of Palestinian resistance. People such as Mahmoud Darwish, Ghassan Kanafani and Naji al-Ali took Palestine to the world through their art many decades ago, and their work - shaped heavily by the Palestinian experience of exile - lives on today.
Cultural aspects of resistance have developed over the decades and traditional practices of poetry, literature and dabke are now accompanied by street art, hip hop, modern dance and contemporary art. New styles and practices have evolved - often influenced by today's globalized world - but in many ways still maintaining a distinctly Palestinian edge.
Whilst links between Darwish's poetry or Naji al-Ali's immortal 'Handala' and today's hip hop groups or street artists may not seem immediate to the uninformed, the context is shaped by the same core issues. The Palestinian story of exile and the struggle against it remain a constant and inherent focus of Palestinian arts and cultural practice today, much as it did amongst earlier practitioners who had themselves lived, and survived the Nakba.