BACBI: Arts & Culture
- Ahmed el-KOMI: "Palestinian artist gives voice to unrecognized villages" (Al-Monitor, Sept 6, 2017): click here!
GAZA STRIP, Gaza City — Six children sit amid the leafless branches of a tree in an arid, barren landscape, a small weary-looking shed in the distance. The image, a photograph by Mohamed Badarne, is part of “Unrecognized Games,” a series featuring children from the 45 unrecognized villages in Israel's Negev Desert, where more than 75,000 Bedouin live.
- Hrag VARTANIAN: "A Garden of Possibilities at the Palestinian Museum" (Hyperallergic, Sept 5, 2017): click here!
The new museum explores the living culture of Jerusalem, which curator Reem Fadda sees as a city that exemplifies the beginning and end of globalism.
- Jehad AHMAD: "The big screen saver: How cinema is providing hope for Gazans" (Middle East Eye, Sept 5, 2017): click here!
The Al-Samer cinema re-opened after 50 years for the premiere of Gaza's first full-length feature. For most of the audience, it was a new experience.
- Silvia MORESI: "La littérature comme seule histoire possible de la Palestine" (ORIENTXXI, 14 juillet, 2017): click here!
La Palestine ne possède pas d’histoire officielle. Les pages des écrivains et des poètes palestiniens ont donc un rôle essentiel dans le parcours douloureux de la réapparition existentielle d’un peuple soumis au processus colonial d’effacement de son identité.
- "UNESCO declares Hebron Old City as Palestinian heritage site" (MEMo, June 7, 2017): click here!
UNESCO has voted to recognise Hebron’s Old City and the Ibrahimi Mosque as Palestinian heritage sites despite diplomatic pressures by the US and Israel to recruit the support of enough member states to vote against the move.
- Janan BSOUL: "What Occupation? New Generation of Palestinian Writers Shifts Focus From Politics to 'Life Itself'" (Haaretz, June 4, 2017): click here!
Young Arabic-language writers in Israel are tackling the Palestinian predicament from their own point of view rather than obsessing about the Nakba.
- Derek WALTERS: "‘In Israël is poëzie een misdaad geworden’" (nrc.nl, 2 juni, 2017): click here!
Nissim Calderon hoogleraar literatuur: De Palestijnse dichteres Tatour riskeert een celstraf voor dichtregels als: „Volg de karavaan van martelaren.”
- Kim JENSEN and Yoav HAIFAWI: "‘With furious cruelty’–Palestinian poet Dareen Tatour still facing prosecution in Israel" (Mondoweiss, April 13, 2017): click here!
March 19 and March 28 marked two critical hearings in the trial of the Palestinian poet Dareen Tatour who faces up to eight years in prison on the charges of incitement and support for terrorism.
- Ahmed EL-KOMI: "Palestinian storyteller brings fresh vision to ancient tradition" (Al-Monitor, April 9, 2017): click here!
Although storytelling is normally reserved for the elderly, a young Palestinian man is reviving Palestinian heritage through folktales and organizing tours to archaeological sites.
- Israel HAREL: "Cultural McCarthyism as Old as Israel Itself" (Haaretz, April 3, 2017): click here!
The days of McCarthyism in literature, culture and arts are nothing new, in fact they go back to the pre-state days of the Yishuv.
- Nirit ANDERMAN: "Prominent Israeli Arts Fund Requires Filmmakers to Avoid Dishonoring Israel" (Haaretz, March 29, 2017): click here!
To obtain funding, filmmakers working with the Rabinovich Foundation must declare their films won't present Independence Day as a day of mourning or insult symbols of the state.
- Rami YOUNIS: "The cultural terrorism of Miri Regev" (+972, March 27, 2017): click here!
By threatening the livelihood of Palestinian theater workers, Regev is committing cultural terrorism: she is putting people’s livelihoods at risk — people whose only sin is holding different political principles.
- Yoav HAIFAWI: "Political poetry as a crime: Inside the surreal trial of Dareen Tatour" (+972, March 26, 2017): click here!
Arresting someone for publishing a political poem is extraordinary. Having to prove at trial that police mistranslated your poem is nothing short of surreal.
- Edo KONRAD: "Photography as protest in Palestine/Israel" (+972, Jan 4, 2017): click here!
‘There is a lot of criticism over the way photojournalism perpetuates social gaps. Activestills came as a response to that. They are part of the struggles they were documenting. The work they produce is intended for communities to use to promote their own struggles.’
- Asmaa AL-GHOUL: "Why Gaza's intellectuals are fleeing abroad" (Al-Monitor, Sept 28, 2016): click here!
Lack of freedom of thought and expression is leading creative young Palestinians to flee Gaza in search of a place where they can work freely.
- "Appeal Against Administrative Detention of Mohammad Abu Sakha Rejected" (Addameer, Aug 25, 2016): click here!
- Urvashi SAKAR: "Sixty-Eight Years After Palestinian Nakba, Cultural Resistance Grows in West Bank" (The Wire, June 11, 2016): click here!
In Palestine’s occupied West Bank, different kind of theatre, music, circus and dance are thriving, and serve not just as entertainment but a means for Palestinians to assert life, their living and existence.
- The Freedom Theatre: "Senior staff member and student prohibited from travelling abroad" (The Freedom Theatre, May 30, 2016): click here!
The Freedom Theatre senior staff member Mustafa Sheta was recently denied exit by Israeli border authorities to attend a visa appointment at the US Embassy in Amman. Third-year acting student Osama Al Azzeh was denied entry by Jordanian border authorities to participate in community theatre performances in refugee camps.
- "Loach: I have a lot to tell about Palestine" (The Palestinian Information Center, May 24, 2016): click here!
British film director Ken Loach has said that he has much to tell about Palestine and its people, affirming that everyone has to know the nature of the Israeli occupation.
- Alia AL GHUSSAIN: "Israel steps up war on Palestinian culture" (The Electronic Intifada, May 18, 2016): click here!
The Palestinian community in Haifa enjoyed a small victory in March when a theater successfully challenged the Israeli government to win reinstatement of official funding cut after controversy over the staging of a play about prisoners last year. But the reinstatement also threw into focus the constraints on Palestinian artistic expression in present-day Israel and some saw the resumption of official funding as a double-edged sword.
- John REED: "Palestinian national museum to open after 20 years of planning" (Financial Times, May 6, 2016): click here!
The bumpy and prolonged journey to opening day mirrors the Palestinians’ perennial struggles with Israel’s occupation and their own internal squabbling. Palestinians do not control the borders of their occupied homeland and the project has contended with cost overruns and disputes with Israel over the import of building materials.
- "Palestinian wins 'Arab Booker' with novel on Nakba, Holocaust" (The New Arab, April 27, 2016): click here!
Novelist Rabai al-Madhoun has been declared winner of the International Prize for Arabic Fiction, becoming the first Palestinian author to receive the prestigious award, also known as the 'Arab Booker'.
- Maryam RAMADAN: "Rafeef Ziadah: 'Make a pariah state of Israel'" (Al Jazeera, March 20, 2016): click here!
Poems of Rafeef Ziadah are inspired by true stories of Palestinians living under Israeli occupation and in exile. A Palestinian performance poet based in London, Ziadah is an activist in her own right and a member of the Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) National Committee.
- Amelia SMITH: "Artists challenge the blockade by building a virtual bridge between Gaza and London" (MEMo, Feb 8, 2016): click here!
"Art is a threat because it's a non-violent form of resistance and even non-violent forms of resistance are a threat; sometimes actually they are a greater threat." At Home in Gaza and London is a digital, cross-border art project that offers an intimate look into people’s personal lives. In one video viewers watch friends sit around a kitchen table, reading, working, bickering and laughing as they would anywhere in the world. But the difference is that the kitchen is in London and the people around the table are in Gaza City.
- Yair ASHKENAZI & Jonathan LIS: "Israeli Culture Minister to Propose 'Loyalty Bill' in Bid to Control Artistic Funding" (Haaretz, Jan 26, 2016): click here!
Bill would enhance her ministry's power and allow it to condition funding for institutions on their allegiance to the state and respect for its symbols.
- Alon IDAN: "By banning book, Israel maintains purity of blood" (Haaretz, Dec 31, 2015):click here!
Jews and Arabs are forbidden to have sex, love, marry, have families or live with one another... We’ll have to do some decoding to properly understand what Dalia Fenig, the acting chair of the Education Ministry’s pedagogic secretariat, was saying when she disqualified the novel “Borderlife” [written by Israeli authoress Dorit Rabinyan], the story of an Israeli [girl] and Palestinian [boy] who fall in love in New York, for use in advanced high school literature classes.
- Ruth POLLARD: "Gaza Strip's artists seek to rebuild hope in a society ruined by conflict" (The Sydney Morning Herald, Dec 26, 2015):click here!
The art scene in Gaza – although still vibrant despite the wars and the abject poverty in which so many of its residents live – is struggling after eight years of Hamas rule and the decision of Western governments to isolate the group, say two other artists, Maha al-Daya, 39 and Ayman Eissa, 41.
- Umar AL-GHUBARI: "How Israel erases Arabic from the public landscape" (+972, Nov 22):click here!
The Israeli government has begun omitting the Arabic name for Jerusalem from its street signs, erasing not only the language from the Israeli consciousness, but Palestinian identity itself.
- "Join the Freedom Theatre in celebrating 10 years of cultural resistance!"click here!
Over the past decade we have devoted ourselves to what our co-founder, the late Juliano Mer Khamis, called the 'Cultural Intifada' - a movement that harnesses the force of creativity and artistic expression in the quest for freedom, justice and equality.
- Alaa TARTIR: "The Wanted 18 Cows, Economic Resistance, and Israel". (Huffington Post, Dec 2, 2015): click here!
The Wanted 18 is an ingenious film that combines creative animation with a story-telling and documentary reporting style, resulting in an entertaining, educational and thought-provoking cinematic experience. Something as original and impactful as The Wanted 18 doesn't come along very often and it is an unmissable film.
- George BAJALIA: "Playwright Ismail Khalidi Talks Theater & Politics in Palestine". (Muftah, Nov 23, 2015): click here!
In connection with his review on Muftah of Ismail Khalidi and Naomi Wallace’s new edited volume, "Inside/Outside: Six Plays from Palestine and the Diaspora", George Bajalia sat down and spoke with Khalidi about the importance of the collection, as well as his and Wallace’s future plans.
- Megan HANNA: "In occupied Palestine, it’s time our language fitted the crime". Linguistics is power and those who control the language of Israel's occupation do so to reinforce the status quo (Middle East Eye, Nov 18, 2015): click here!
It is imperative that we abandon the term “conflict” in this instance. The problem is perhaps best summarised by Richard Faulk, a professor of international law and the previous Special Rapporteur assigned to the OPT. In 2010, Faulk wrote, “I believe the time has come to call ‘a spade a spade’ and use such terms as ‘annexation,’ ‘ethnic cleansing,’ ‘apartheid,’ ‘colonialist,’ ‘settler colonialism,’ and ‘criminality.’”
- Susan ABULHAWA: "Occupied words: On Israel's colonial narrative". Analysis: Palestinian novelist Susan Abulhawa deconstructs Israel's insidious language of power (Aljazeera, Oct 27, 2015): click here!
The language of sociopolitical constructs is rarely a mere collection of words arranged to reflect reality. More often, it is the very infrastructure of thought, laid out in a way to facilitate, or preclude, specific ideas. In the case of a settler colonial enterprise, the selection of words is highly deliberate and meant to construct a moral syntax to contextualise ethnic cleansing and settlement.
- Moe Ali NAYEL: "Pianist flees Yarmouk camp for Germany" (The Electronic Intifada, 27 October 2015): click here!
Aeham Ahmed, a young pianist, used to roam the desolate streets of Yarmouk refugee camp — described by the United Nations Secretary-General as the “deepest circle of hell” in Syria earlier this year. Aeham colored the bleak camp with his melodies. But at the start of September the 28-year-old Palestinian fled the country along with thousands of others, seeking refuge in Europe.
- Mousa TAWFIQ: "Making music under siege" (The Electronic Intifada, 26 October 2015): click here!
Eight years of suffocating siege, three devastating Israeli assaults and longstanding Palestinian political divide have negatively impacted all aspects of life in Gaza — including its music. There is only one music school in the tiny coastal territory, and only children are taught there.
- Roger SHEETY: "Stealing Palestine: A study of historical and cultural theft" (Middle East Eye, 14 July, 2015): click here!
The cultural appropriation of books, music, art, cuisine and dress have been used by Zionists as a weapon against Palestinians. Stealing and appropriating the culture and history of indigenous peoples is a typical characteristic of all modern colonial-settler states, but usually accomplished once the indigenous people in question has been eliminated, dispossessed, or otherwise seemingly defeated therefore making it safe to do so. The colonial-settler state of “Israel,” established on the ruins of Palestine and through the expulsion of the majority of its indigenous population in 1948 and after, is no different.
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- *Amira HASS: "Night raids and attack dogs: For West Bank Palestinians, their homes are not their castles" (Haaretz, June 17, 2018).
- Neve GORDON: "Gaza's Passover massacre" (Al-Jazeera, April 1, 2018)
- "Israel killed 3 Palestinian civilians, injured 500, in first half of March" (Middle East Monitor, March 16)
- Omar KARMI: “Gaza in a vice” (The Electronic Intifada, Feb 13, 2018).
- Gideon LEVY & Alex LEVAC: “Like a Safari: Israeli Troops in Jeeps Hunt a Palestinian Teen and Shoot Him in the Head” (Haaretz, Feb 9, 2018, now freely available via: If Americans Knew).
- Amira HASS: "On the Margins of the Murder”, (Haaretz, Nov 12, 2017): click here!
- "Israeli forces detain 11 Palestinians, including 4 minors, in overnight raids" (Ma'an, March 29, 2017).
- Amira HASS: "Israeli Settlers Kill a Sheep in Latest Escalation in Jordan Valley, Palestinians Say" (Haaretz, Feb 18, 2017).
- "Israel aims to ‘Judaize’ historical Bethlehem village" (Middle East Monitor, Jan 13, 2017).
- Nasouh NAZZAL: "Israel’s pesticide war on Gazan farmers" (Gulf News Palestine, Dec 26, 2016).
- Emily MULDER: "Israeli guard: 'Go from this land or I will kill you'" (Al Jazeera, Dec 26, 2016).
- "A six-year-old Palestinian girl killed after being run over by Israeli settler" (Middle East Children Alliance, 2016).
- Gideon LEVY & Alex LEVAC: "In Some of the Israeli Army's Raids, Leaving Empty-handed Is Not an Option" (Haaretz, Aug 27, 2016).
- "Israeli settlers attack Palestinian girl in Ramallah, stab and kill her sheep" (Ma'an, Aug 5, 2016).
- "Un enfant palestinien [de 12 ans] tué par des soldats israéliens" (Libération, 19 juillet 2016).
- Kit O'CONNELL: "Israel Cutting Palestinians Off From Their Own Water Supply" (MintPress News, June 30, 2016).
- "Israeli Soldiers Kill A Palestinian Child Near Ramallah" (IMEMC, June 21, 2016).
- Edo KONRAD: "Tel Aviv mayor says the occupation is a cause of Palestinian terror" (+972, June 9, 2016).
- "After being shot three days ago by IOF, Palestinian youth dies from injuries" (Palestinian Information Center, June 6, 2016).
- Palestine PMO: Israel’s destruction of Palestinian water infrastructure is atrocious (Palestine News Network, May 26, 2016).
- Again, settlers burn Palestinian farms in West Bank (Days of Palestine, May 16, 2016).
- Michal ZAK: "Third intifada, terror wave, the 'situation': Just don't mention the 'O' word to Israelis" (Middle East Eye, March 13, 2016).
- Jon QUEALLY: "Brother and Sister, Children Aged 10 and 6, Killed by Israeli Bombing in Gaza" (Common Dreams, March 13, 2016).
- Jonathan COOK: "Aid subversion report makes for shocking reading" (The National, March 7, 2016).
- "Palestijns meisje van 13 geëxecuteerd" (alexandrina.nl, 23 jan, 2016).
- "UN decries Abu Nuwar demolitions, calls for immediate end to planned transfers" (Medical Aid for Palestinians, MAP, Jan 20, 2016).
- Julie PUTSEYS: "Palestijnse empowerment op Israëlische scholen." Geen gelijke kansen zonder evenwaardig onderwijs. Zo denkt de Arabisch-Israëlische professor Dalia Fadila er alleszins over. (MO*, 10 Jan 2016).
- Uri SAVIR: "Why solving Israel-Palestine conflict is still key for regional stability" (Al-Monitor, Jan 3, 2016).
- C.J.WERLEMAN: "The road to hell is paved with 'national security'". Israel is turning the West’s fixation on the Islamic State group into an opportunity to expand its apartheid laws and militarisation of the West Bank (Middle East Eye, Jan 1, 2016).
- Mazal MUALEM: "'Hate wedding' video offers glimpse at Jewish terror" (Al-Monitor, Dec 28, 2015).
- Maureen Clare MURPHY: "Catastrophe for Syrians and Palestinians alike in war-ravaged country" (The Electronic Intifada, Dec 23, 2015).
- Shlomi ELDAR: "Why the US is part of Middle East problem, not the solution". Interview with Ayman Odeh (Al-Monitor, Dec 14, 2015).
- Philip WEISS: "Obama’s ISIS czar says we can’t defeat extremism without resolving Palestinian issue" (Mondoweiss, Dec 14, 2015).
- Uri SAVIR: "How the Islamic State hurts Palestinian cause" (Al-Monitor, Dec 6, 2015).
- Al Jazeera: "Gaza's crumbling healthcare system" (Yahoo.com, Dec 8, 2015).
- Nurit CANETTI: "The radicalization of Israel" (Al-Monitor, Dec 2, 2015).
- Kate: "Prominent Israeli settler runs over 16-year-old girl, then shoots her dead" (Mondoweiss, Nov 23, 2015).
- Gideon LEVY: "So These Are Israel's New Heroes?" Israel's recent military operations in Palestinian hospitals are a blatant violation of the Geneva Convention, and make you wonder how low the country can sink (Haaretz, Nov 21, 2015).
- Philip WEISS: "The best way for Americans to defeat the Islamic state is to end support for Jewish nationalism" (Mondoweiss, Nov 15, 2015).
- Ahmed MOOR: "The Problem of Palestine is Zionism" (Fair Observer, Nov 11, 2015).
- Miko PELED: "Zionism is racism: Notes from Tel-Rumeida, Hebron, El-Khalil" (American Herald Tribune, Nov 13, 2015).
- Megan HANNA: "‘It Has Become A Prison’: The ghettoization of Hebron" (Mondoweiss, Nov 11, 2015).
- Avigail ABARBANEL: "Netanyahu’s craziness is calculated, to drive out Palestinians" (Mondoweiss, Nov 5, 2015).
- Michel WARSCHAWSKI: "La jeunesse palestinienne à couteaux tirés avec Israël" (Orient XXI, 15 Oct 2015).
- Kamel HAWWASH: "Palestinians have a problem with occupiers not (with) Jews" (MEMO, Oct 30, 2015).
- "Palestijnse baby vermoord met traangas" (Alexandrina, Oct 31, 2015).
- Ali ABUNIMAH: "Israel’s executions of Palestinian teens must end, Amnesty says" (The Electronic Intifada, Oct 28, 2015).
- Killian REDDEN: "Hebron at eye of the storm as death toll rises" (Ma'an News Agency, Oct 26, 2015).
- "Netanyahu Shamelessly Exploits the Shoah to Stoke Fear of Palestinians" (Jewish Voice for Peace, Oct 21, 2015).
- Amos GVIRTZ: "From Unilateral- to Bilateral War - or: How the Palestinians Fight to Prevent Being Expelled From the Country" (Occupation Magazine, Oct 20, 2015).
- Noam SHEIZAF: "Jerusalem, in context" (+972, October 19, 2015). "The current events in Jerusalem have a political history and context. Attempts to attribute the violence to some kind of Palestinian pathology while ignoring other factors is a recipe for making things worse."
- Meron RAPOPORT: "The paradox of Jerusalem" (Middle East Eye, October 17, 2015).