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(en) Ramallah, Tel Aviv, New York - Three Cities Against the Wall, Press Release, 28 October 2005

Date Sun, 06 Nov 2005 22:30:15 +0200


Art has the possibility to unite different cultures into harmony and to
create new options for individuals, in order to live and work together
for justice, equality and peace.
Three Cities Against the Wall is an exhibition protesting the
Separation Wall under construction by Israel in the Occupied
Territories of Palestine. This project involves groups of artists in
Ramallah, Palestine; Tel Aviv, Israel; and New York City. The show
will be held simultaneously in all three cities in November 2005.
Through this collaborative exhibition, the organizers and
participating artists will draw attention to the reality of the Wall and
its disastrous impact on the daily lives of hundreds of thousands of
Palestinians by the separation of Palestinian communities from each
other and from their fertile lands, water resources, schools, hospitals
and work places; thereby "contributing to the departure of
Palestinian populations," as the International Court of Justice (ICJ)
has warned.

Carmella Volk, Tel Aviv

The wall also robs and destroys the human spirit. Spiritual and
cultural life cannot survive under these conditions, and we, as
artists, find it necessary to fight this crime with the means which we
posses.

This illegal Wall prevents the possibility of a just solution to the
Palestinian-Israeli conflict as based on the universal principles of
equality and self-determination. It prolongs this conflict and the
suffering that results from it. Therefore we Israeli, Palestinian and
American artists resist this wall and its devastating impact, and aim
to call attention to the urgency of dismantling the Wall which
threatens any peaceful future in both Israel and Palestine for all.

The Separation Wall was found to be illegal by an advisory opinion
given by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) at The Hague on
July 9, 2004. In its ruling, the ICJ stated: "The construction of the
wall being built by Israel, the occupying power, in the Occupied
Palestinian Territory, including in and around East Jerusalem, and
its associated regime, [is] contrary to international law."

Naama Yuriah, Tel Aviv

Who we are

Curatorial and organizing committees for Three Cities Against the
Wall, comprised of local artists and activists, have been established
in each of the three participating cities. These committees have each
invited the participation of numerous artists, each of whom has been
asked to provide three works to be exhibited in all three locations.

In Palestine, Tayseer Barakat, founder of the League of Palestinian
Artists and curator of Gallery Barakat, and Sliman Mansour are
organizing the exhibition. The organizations involved are the League
of Palestinian Artists and the Palestinian Association of
Contemporary Art (PACA).

Hushi Radwan, Ramallah
Asad Azi, Ramallah


In Israel the project is organized by a group of artists and activists
that came together to resist the wall through art and culture.
Members of the group are also associated with the Israeli Coalition
Against the Wall; Taayush; and Anarchists Against the Wall. These
groups are very active in protests and projects, both in Israel and
Palestine, against the construction of the Wall and the occupation,
including protests where there have been many victims, Palestinian,
Israeli, and international.

In New York, Three Cities Against the Wall is organized through the
arts center ABC No Rio by a committee of artists and activists, a
number of them associated with the radical comic magazine World
War 3 Illustrated. World War 3 Illustrated was founded in 1979 to
oppose the right-wing policies of Ronald Reagan. It has been
publishing art and articles in support of the rights of the Palestinian
people since 1988, when it published an interview with Naji-Ali.
ABC No Rio is a community center for the arts that grew out of the
housing struggles on New York's Lower East Side. Many of the
organizers in New York participate in the International Solidarity
Movement, Women In Black, SUSTAIN (Stop U.S. Tax-funded Aid
to Israel Now), International Women's Peace Service, Jewish
Alliance Against the Occupation, and other groups opposed to
Israel's unjust occupation.

Seth Tobocman, New York

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.

Suzanne Klotz, New York

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.


A full-color catalog of Three Cities Against the Wall, including
essays by writers, critics, and activists from all three communities, is
to be be published by Vox Pop Press in November.
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