I recently completed this mural in the Palestinian village of At-Tuwani located in the south-Hebron Hills.
This mural was organized in collaboration with Youth of Sumud , a youth group that conducts non-violent activity to resist the Occupation.
I met Sami Huraini, one of the key figures in YOS and a prominent activist, as part of another project of mine that deals with scars and borders in which he shared the story behind the scar that runs along his entire calf.
The scar was caused a few years as a result of one of the many attacks carried out by Israeli settlers, in which said settlers hit Sami while driving a 4×4 buggy after chasing him off the road.
The imagery in the mural depicts the character sewing/mending the broken wings of birds and releasing them to fly free.
The Arabic writing in the banner reads: “On this land, there is what makes life worth living”.The sentence, requested by Sami, is taken from a poem by well renowned Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish, that speaks about the minutiae that embodies the spirit of Palestine, both in its idyll form, and its reality.
I feel that it’s necessary to give a little background about the area in which the mural is located in order to give context to the imagery and my intentions behind it:
Masafer Yata, the broader region in which At-Tuwani is located, consists of primarily farmer and shepherd communities who rely on working the land to make a living and sustain themselves.
The Palestinian residents of the area are the recipients of constant harassment and violence at the hands of the Israeli military and Israeli settlers ultimately working to displace these communities.
A long list of human rights violations are carried out against the Palestinian communities on a regular basis; property and water/electricity sources are destroyed both by settlers as well as the military under the claim that they were built illegally (permits for Palestinian construction is practically non-existent), whereas Israeli settlers are essentially free to establish and expand their settlements and outposts on Palestinian land with government support (it’s important to point out that these settlements are illegal according to international law).
Freedom of movement is prevented by not allowing the use of roads connecting villages. For example, children are attacked by settlers on their way to school requiring Israeli soldiers to escort them instead of holding the settlers accountable. As illogical as this is in the first place, the military presence also gives way to close off the area under the pretense that they are ‘closed firing/military zones’, preventing the movement of even more Palestinians wishing to travel throughout villages in the area for whatever reason.
The same military-backed violence is carried out by settlers against shepherds and their sheep during grazing and herding.
Activists, both Palestinian (such as members from Youth of Sumud) and international, are commonly arrested or detained for exercising their basic rights or trying to protect those doing so, whereas the settlers are protected by the military.
In short, there are two laws, one for Israelis and another for Palestinians who live under military rule.
The examples of violence are virtually endless and branch off into an extensive network of actions enforcing a military occupation of a people on their own land and severe violation of basic human rights, in attempt to suppress and break the spirit Palestinian residents of Masafer Yata (and other areas of the West Bank).
The mural is an ode to the persistence, the overcoming and the resilient spirit of those enduring the reality forced upon them by the enforcers and perpetrators of the Occupation.
Thank you to Sami and the Huraini family, Omer Shamir, Alon Bonder and Alma Beck for allowing and helping to make this happen, each in their own way.
2021 Print Club
Culture of Solidarity
I’m happy to share some photos from what is probably one of my favorite collaborations to date.
As part of their massive food drive coinciding with Rosh Hashana, I teamed up with Culture of Solidarity to create the imagery for the food boxes that went out last week to coincide with the Jewish New Year and these complicated times.
These boxes reached families and individuals from an array of demographics- Jewish, Palestinian, the elderly, immigrant workers, single parent households, asylum seekers and many other communities that have been disproportionately affected by Covid-19, to allow them to celebrate the holiday period in a dignified way.
The idea of creating these boxes was to allow the children of the recipients households to color in the images, and in addition to dry food and fresh produce, a set of markers and crayons was included.
In the images I tried to convey values practiced and communicated by the members of Culture of Solidarity- giving, connecting people, empathy, nurturing, sharing of resources and mutual aid.
This can be an overwhelming time period for many children, in which the parents themselves are under much financial and emotional distress, and receiving nutritional aid such as this can often be associated with feelings of shame and can have an affect on one’s self image.
By addressing the children’s position in this situation through the imagery and activity provided, the aid boxes transform from one associated with survival and emergency aid, to a more positive experience, which will hopefully affect their memory of these times in the future.
The work of Culture of Solidarity has been an inspirational force throughout this period, a grassroots community that is an actual safety net for many. I’m grateful to have had this opportunity to be part of this project.
Besides providing food to those that are in need, their activity is broad and thorough, so I highly recommend following them on social media and getting involved if you are able. Besides donating, there are many other ways to participate in their doings.
The images on the boxes are also available for every child and grown-up as a downloadable coloring set on my website.
Click on the () on the top right menu of my homepage (from desktop/laptop only).
A big thank you to Best Carton for the box donation, and Rubin Ltd. and Kravitz for the markers and crayons, who were all very generous in these trying times.
Reflecting Each Other
In support of the paradigm-shifting protests happening worldwide, I’ve created a new section on my website titled ‘Signs of Hope’, from where you can download free hi-res images of mine to create signs, posters or anything else that you can think of in order to support the cause nearest and dearest to you.
I will be updating this page and adding more images sporadically, so make sure to check back often. If you make something or use these images (for non commercial purposes only), please make sure to tag me on social media or send photos/videos to me so I can share and spread the word!
ADISH x Know Hope Collaboration
100% of the proceeds will equally be divided amongst Culture of Solidarity, an initiative that has been working to provide food and crucial aid to people neglected by the Israeli government and lack of welfare brought on by the pandemic, and Adalah, a non-profit organization working through litigation and representation for Palestinians and Arabs subject to the Israeli judicial system, and to protect Arab-Palestinian human rights in Israel and Palestinian Territories.We felt that this was a way to both support current issues happening in Israel, and the ongoing struggle of the Palestinian people.⠀
The shirts are available for pre-order until next Thursday (30/07) and include Palestinian hand embroidery made by women from Dehiseh Refugee Camp in Palestine, and a “Break, Don’t Bend” screen-printed graphic on the back with hand painted detailing by me. The t-shirts can be purchased here.
Each ‘Gesture’ is numbered, alluding to that each one is part of a larger continuum, a frozen moment.
These artworks are each sold in a custom frame, measure at 23×27.5 cm and are available for purchase for $750, with free international shipping.
The artworks are now live on my online shop and can be purchased here.
I want to thank you for all the continuous support, which means so much more in this complicated and uncertain time period.
These are unprecedented times and we are now growing and rebuilding. I’m sending you all the love and hope.
All my very best for now- stay safe and stay up,