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Date posted: June 25, 2005
By MIFTAH

New Page 2

It started as a barbed wire creation. Then it became a “concrete” structure of cement slabs and guard towers. This wall divides a nation – its neighborhoods, people and families. On one side, the sun shines brightly and the wind blows with freedom; on the other side, a shadow looms, and opportunity is caged in. Many acted in violence to protest the large, gray division, but it was the wall’s transformation into a brightly-colored work of art that touched hearts—more than words ever could—to convey the darkness and injustice of the wall.

The world cried out to “tear down this wall,” and in 1989, the Berlin Wall in Germany fell after 28 years of division. Yet, in today’s modern world, this medieval concept was erected once again in June 2002, this time in Palestine. The Israeli government, in an effort to maximize the confiscation of Palestinian land for future settlement and realities, is completing the construction of this eight meter concrete structure deep within the West Bank. Along with the Annexation Wall came justified resistance. But in the image of the Berlin Wall, the Annexation Wall is also becoming a canvas on which to express Palestinian frustration, suffering and hope surrounding Israel’s illegal occupation.

This form of artistic resistance is a powerful form of non-violent resistance that has tremendous impact. It is said that a picture speaks a thousand words. And if you walk alongside the 650 km-long Wall, which is increasingly becoming brightly-colored, you will see and hear the tragedy of this structure for both the land and the Palestinian people: ghetto, prison, apartheid and pleas for freedom.

Artistic resistance in Palestine represents more than a release of built-up tension and exasperation caused by the Occupation, but it is also a peaceful tool which normalizes and humanizes the Palestinians in a world that falsely views them as violent “militants” and “terrorists.” These are the images that should be portrayed in the media, because they truly tell the story of the physical, mental and emotional distresses that Palestinians experience every day.

Furthermore, this type of activism should be commended and encouraged as a positive alternative to both the brutality of Israeli military occupation and extremist responses. The nature of the beast (a.k.a. Occupation) lends itself to circular contradiction: do Palestinians lay low and gain the international community’s sympathy through its “good conduct” record? Or actively rebel and give Israel more of an excuse not to stop its suppression of Palestinian people? These are questions not easily answered, because they are buried in political, economic and social norms and policies.

However, the graffiti on the Wall, the film documentaries, literature and Palestinian and Israeli music cooperatives serve as beautiful alternatives to express the realities of the conflict and the genuine yearning for peace and self-determination. If the repetitious citing of statistics, studies and international law can not break the misconceptions and awful reality of the situation in the region, then perhaps art can catch the eye and the heart of the world. Then, hope in bringing a peaceful, just and lasting solution to this exhausting decades-long conflict may be realized.

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By: MIFTAH
Date: 27/06/2005
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