Art as Resistance in Palestine

Collection with 20 media items created by Rich Wiles

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.

Palestine Art Culture Music Resistance Hip Hop Dabke Dance Break Occupation West Bank Ramallah Gallilee East Jerusalem

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By Rich Wiles
05 Oct 2014

A modern sculpture outside al-Bireh Municipality referencing the story of exile and the 'Right of Return' for all Palestinian refugees.

al-Bireh, October 2014.

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By Rich Wiles
05 Oct 2014

Part of Khaled Hourani's 2009 project 'Road to Jerusalem'. Hourani is a renowned contemporary artist. In this project, he produced ceramic tiles highlighting the exact distance from their location to the centre of Jerusalem. The tiles were meant to highlight the attachment, but also the physical dislocation from Jerusalem felt by Palestinians. 80 tiles were placed in locations across all areas of historic Palestine and internationally.

al-Bireh, October 2014.

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By Rich Wiles
20 Apr 2014

Palestinian artist, Hassan Twafra, paints during a cultural event in Iqrit. Twafra is an internally displaced Palestinian 'citizen of the 'State of Israel'. Originally from the city of Tiberias, Twafra participates in national and political events across historic Palestine.

Iqrit, the Galilee, '1948 Occuied Palestine' (today's 'State of Israel') - April 2014.

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By Rich Wiles
17 Oct 2013

Ayed Arafah is a young Palestinian contemporary artist. He has shown work internationally and has also produced several street art murals, such as this piece on the walls of IBDAA Center - a cultural centre in Deheisheh refugee camp where Arafah lives.

Deheisheh refugee camp, Bethlehem - October 2013.

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By Rich Wiles
05 May 2014

A photography exhibition by Palestinian artist Mohammad Badarne was shown during the 'Return March' which was held in the village of Lubya, in 2014.

The 'Return March' is held annually by internally displaced Palestinian 'citizens of the State of Israel'. Held during the days leading up to 'Nakba Day', thousands participate to walk to one of the original villages from which Palestinians were forcibly displaced during the 1948 Nakba and demand the 'right of return'.

Lubya, the Galilee, '1948 Occupied Palestine' (today's 'State of Israel') - May 2014.

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By Rich Wiles
05 Oct 2014

A modern public art sculpture dedicated to the Palestinian struggle includes the words of the late Mahmoud Darwish: "On this land, we have what makes life worth living".

Darwish is considered to be the leader of the Palestinian 'Resistance Poetry' movement.

al-Bireh, October 2014.

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By Rich Wiles
05 Oct 2014

At the entrance to al-Amari refugee camp, a sculpture is dedicated to the struggle for the 'Right of Return' for all Palestinian refugees and displaced people.

al-Amari refugee camp, October 2014.

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By Rich Wiles
06 Oct 2014

A young girl joins a performance of the Jericho Clown Troupe during an Eid al-Adha party for the children of Palestinian political prisoners.

Ramallah - October 2014.

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By Rich Wiles
22 Mar 2012

Members of Lajee Center Dabke Troupe perform alongside the Apartheid Wall during an event to mark Land Day in Aida refugee camp near Bethlehem.

Land Day commemorates the killing of 6 Palestinians by the Israeli authorities in the Galilee during protests against land confiscation and colonization on March 30th 1976.

Aida refugee camp - March 2012.

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By Rich Wiles
20 Apr 2014

Young activists dance 'Dabke' with Nakba survivors during a cultural event organized by members of the youth 'Return' activists in Iqrit. In August 2012, a group of internally displaced Palestinian citizens of the 'State of Israel' set up a protest camp in the village from which their ancestors were forcibly displaced during the Nakba, demanding their full return.

The activists remain in Iqrit today despite repeated demolitions and arrests by the Israeli authorities.

Iqrit, the Galilee, 1948 Occupied Palestine (today's 'State of Israel') - April 2014.

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By Rich Wiles
20 Apr 2014

Palestinian 'Return' activists in Iqrit perform a contemporary street art piece which tells the story of their ancestors' forced displacement from the village in 1948.

In August 2012, a group of young activists, who are internally displaced Palestinian 'citizens of the State of Israel', established a protest camp in the village from which their ancestors were forced out during the Nakba. The demanded their full right of return to the village. They remain in Iqrit to this day despite repeated demolitions and arrests by the Israeli authorities.

Iqrit, Galilee - '1948 Occupied Palestine' (today's 'State of Israel') - April 2014.

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By Rich Wiles
16 Jan 2014

As stated in their official 'Vision', the Palestinian Circus School "dreams of a free Palestine in which Palestinians engage in a dynamic cultural and artistic life that embraces creativity, freedom of expression and diversity as the main pillars for a just and inclusive society".

Birzeit - January 2014.

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By Rich Wiles
16 Jan 2014

Members of the Palestinian Circus School train at their headquarters in the village of Birzeit, near Ramallah.

Birzeit - 2014.

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By Rich Wiles
15 Apr 2014

Music band 'Asqalan', from Deheisheh refugee camp, perform at an event for Palestinian political prisoners in al-Bireh. The band took their name from their original village of 'al-Majdal Asqalan' - from which their parents were forcibly displaced during the 1948 Nakba.

al-Bireh - April 2014.

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By Rich Wiles
03 May 2013

Palestinian scout troupe bands regularly perform at public events ranging from cultural or religious festivals to national and political events.

Ramallah - 2013.

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By Rich Wiles
14 Mar 2014

'Assaf Esmeir and Geries Geries perform a hip hop song dedicated to the struggle of Kufr Birim's villagers to return to the village, which were forcibly displaced from during the 1948 Nakba. In August 2013, a group of internally displaced Palestinian citizens of Israel set up a protest camp in Kufr Birim, following the model of the nearby village of Iqrit, demanding their full return. The activists remain in Kufr Birim today, but the State of Israel has brought a legal case against them in order to forcibly remove them from the village.

Kufr Birim, the Galilee, '1948 Occupied Palestine' (today's 'State of Israel') - March 2014.

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By Rich Wiles
05 Oct 2014

A woman walks past a street art mural depicting Palestinian suffering and struggle in Qalandia refugee camp.

Qalandia refugee camp, near Ramallah - October 2014.

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By Rich Wiles
05 Oct 2014

A street art mural painted in Qalandia refugee camp by Palestinian artist Sami Aldeek.

Qalandia refugee camp - October 2014.

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By Rich Wiles
05 Oct 2014

Many sections of Israel's 'Apartheid Wall' are covered with public art produced by artists including internationals and some Palestinians. However, many Palestinian artists refuse to paint on the Wall considering doing so to be an act of 'beautification' or even 'normalization'.

Qalandia - October, 2014

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By Rich Wiles
05 Oct 2014

Although known locally as 'Clock Square', the officially named 'Yasser Arafat Square' in Ramallah has a huge flag pole at it's heart which carries a sculpture of a man climbing to reach, or raise the Palestinian flag.

Ramallah - October 2014.