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(en) Palestine-Israel-US, Ramalla-Tel_Aviv-New_York: Three Cities Against the Wall

Date Sat, 16 Jul 2005 11:08:25 +0300


TO OPEN NOVEMBER 9, 2005 - Art Exhibition in Three Cities - Showcase Work of
PALESTINIAN, ISRAELI, AND AMERICAN ARTISTS OPPOSED TO ISRAEL'S “SEPARATION WALL”
NEW YORK – Artists from three separate but vitally
interconnected communities will participate for the first time in
a one-of-a-kind art show that opens Nov. 9, 2005, in
Ramallah, Palestine; Tel Aviv, Israel; and New York City.
Three Cities Against the Wall brings together 56 painters,
sculptors, filmmakers, and graphic artists united in opposition
to the “Separation Wall” that Israel is constructing in
the Occupied Territories of Palestine.

Participating artists, many of them internationally recognized,
have contributed a wide range of works that movingly convey
the conditions imposed by the Wall and the emotions and
visceral responses it provokes. Some participants, Palestinian
and Israeli, live daily with the conditions imposed by the Wall.
Others have traveled extensively in Israel and occupied
Palestine, absorbing the reality of the Wall and its disastrous
impact on hundreds of thousands of Palestinians' lives.
Three Cities Against the Wall also represents a hopeful
development for the future of the Palestinian and Israeli
peoples. Each artist has contributed three works to the show,
one to be displayed in each city. In the two years they have
been planning the exhibition, the artists and activists involved
have built networks and created relationships that will sustain a
long-term cultural network that opposes Israel's oppression of
the Palestinian people.

In New York, Three Cities Against the Wall is organized
through ABC No Rio, a community center for the arts on the
Lower East Side, by a committee of artists and activists. In
Ramallah, Tayseer Barakat, founder of the League of
Palestinian Artists and curator of the Gallery Barakat, and
Suliman Mansour, director of the Wasiti Art Center in
Jerusalem, are organizing the exhibition. And in Tel Aviv, the
project is organized by a group of artists and activists
associated with the Israeli Coalition Against the Wall,
Ta'ayush, and Anarchists Against the Wall.
Three Cities Against the Wall will run for one month in all
three locations. For more information, visit the Three Cities
Web site at http://www.abcnorio.org/againstthewall/.

QUICK FACTS...
Who is participating?
Fifty-six Palestinian, Israeli, and North American artists,
united in their opposition to Israel's “Separation Wall.”
Internationally known artists who will be participating in the
show include, from the U.S., painters Nancy Spero and the late
Leon Golub and cartoonist Seth Tobocman; from Palestine,
the painter-sculptors Tayseer Barakat and Suliman Mansour;
and from Israel, video artist Galit Eilat, director of the Israeli
Center for Digital Art, and the late cartoonist Dudu Geva. Each
artist will be represented by work in all three locations.
Why and how did Three Cities Against the Wall come about?

Two years of contacts and networking between artists and
activists in all three cities created this show. Its purpose is
fourfold: To united our voices in demonstrating our opposition
to the Separation Wall; to better inform people about the true
nature of the catastrophic situation created by the Wall; to
demonstrate that within the Israeli and American publics there
is opposition to the Wall; and to lay the foundation for a
community of artists across borders.

When?
Three Cities Against the Wall will open in Ramallah, Tel Aviv,
and New York on Thursday, November 9, 2005, and run for
one month in all three locations.

Where?
In Ramallah, at Gallery Barakat; in Tel Aviv, at a location to
be announced shortly; and in New York, at the art center ABC
No Rio.

What kind of works will be featured?
Works will include paintings, carvings and sculpture, film,
video installations, graphic works on paper, and photography.
Will a catalog be available?

A full-color catalog, produced collaboratively by artists and
designers in all three cities, will be available upon the opening
of Three Cities Against the Wall. It will include essays by
well-known Palestinian, Israeli, and American writers about
the origins of the show, about the Wall and its impact, and
about the role of the U.S. in creating and sustaining the
Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

How can I get involved or contribute to Three Cities Against
the Wall? If you are located in the U.S., contact Steven
Englander at ABC No Rio, (212) 254-3697.

OUR VISION: A WORLD WITHOUT BORDERS
In the process of creating Three Cities Against the Wall, the
organizers and participating artists are building networks and
creating relationships between their respective communities to
oppose both Israel's oppression of the Palestinian people and
the Wall as a symbol of that oppression.
Yet while American, Palestinian, and Israeli artists are
showing their work together in this exhibition, we understand
that the relationship amongst them is not one of equality. The
relationship between Palestinians and Israelis has been
compared to that between prisoners and guards, with U.S.
cittizens as the patrons of this prison. Americans finance Israel
through their tax dollars; some also finance Israel through
contributions to Zionist organizations. The Wall is horrifying
because it casts these relationships in concrete, making
Palestinian imprisonment more thorough and more
permanent.

Ironically, there is also an opportunity created by the Wall: this
physical barrier makes the oppression of Palestinians more
visible. Artists can use the Wall as a metaphor to educate the
public. We are working together because we understand that,
by uniting our voices, we are more likely to be heard and will
therefore be better able to inform the public of the true nature
of this catastrophic situation. We also want to demonstrate that
within the Israeli and the American public there is opposition
to the Wall.

We are laying the foundation for building a community of
artists across borders, and will demonstrate, through combined
effort, our opposition to injustice and oppression on moral and
ethical grounds, and because injustice and oppression
engender a separation between peoples, preventing normal
human communication between them.

We believe that the world of the future is a world without
borders. We support the right of a Turk to work in Germany, of
a Haitian to seek refuge in the United States, of a Croat to live
peacefully in Serbia. Thus we also support the right of a
Palestinian, a Jew, or anyone else to live in the city of their
choice, to enjoy all the privileges of citizenship there, and to
travel freely to and from their chosen place of residence. This
is not a radical demand but a natural human expectation. The
attempts of 20th century governments to control demographics
through genocide, forced transfer and other coercive means
have been a disaster and such policies must be discarded. It is
tragic that at a time when governments in Europe are
discussing the possibility of open borders, Israel is building a
border of cement and steel. We oppose the Wall because it is a
wall against the future.

Information and Resources About the Wall:
Direct Action Palestine
DAP is a New York-based group that works in solidarity with
Palestinian non-violent resistance to end the Israeli
occupation. We mobilize, train, support and fund activists to
travel to Israel/Palestine and to bring their stories home.
http://www.dapnyc.org/

International Solidarity Movement
International Solidarity Movement, (ISM), a Palestinian-led
movement of Palestinian and International activists working to
raise awareness of the struggle for Palestinian freedom and an
end to Israeli occupation. ISM utilizes nonviolent, direct-action
methods of resistance to confront and challenge the Israeli
occupation.
http://www.palsolidarity.org/

International Women's Peace Service
IWPS Palestine is an international team of 16 women based in
Hares, a village in the Salfit Governorate of Occupied
Palestine's West Bank. IWPS joins Palestinians in acts of
non-violent direct action to oppose human rights abuses and
the confiscation and destruction of land and property of
Palestinian people.

http://www.womenspeacepalestine.org/wall_campaign.htm
Jews Against the Occupation
JATO is an organization of progressive, secular and religious
Jews of all ages throughout the New York City area advocating
peace through justice for Palestine and Israel.
http://www.jatonyc.org/

Middle East Children's Alliance
MECA is a non-governmental organization, working for peace
and justice in the Middle East; focusing on Palestine, Israel,
Lebanon and Iraq. Its programs emphasize the need to educate
North Americans about the Middle East and U.S. foreign
policy, and to support projects that aid and empower
communities.

http://www.mecaforpeace.org/
The Palestine Children's Welfare Fund
PCWF was established by individuals whose goals are to
improve the living standards of the children of Palestine in the
refugee camps inside Palestine. The group aims to provide the
children of the refugee camps with better educational
opportunities, health facilities and a bright future without
violence, hatred and discrimination.
http://www.pcwf.org/index.html

Al-Awda - The Palestine Right to Return Coalition
Fact sheets on the Wall
http://www.al-awda.org/apartheidwall/
Electronic Intifada: News and views on the Wall
http://electronicintifada.net/bytopic/apartheidwall.shtml
Gush Shalom - The Israeli Peace Bloc
Maps and other materials on the "Separation Wall"
http://www.gush-shalom.org/thewall/index.html
Indymedia Israel
https://israel.indymedia.org/

Palestine News Network
http://www.palestinenet.org/english/
The Palestinian Environmental Non-Governmental
Organizations Network (PENGON)
http://www.pengon.org/wall/wall.html
Stop the Wall: The Grassroots Palestinian Anti-Apartheid Wall
Campaign
http://www.stopthewall.org/
Washington Report on Middle East Affairs
http://www.wrmea.com

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