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“Honoring the Palestinian Cultural Legacy: A Look at How This Art Foundation Pays Tribute”

Dubai’s Alserkal Art Week inaugurated on November 20, featuring a moving exhibition titled “On This Land.” The showcase, focused on Palestine, particularly Gaza, emerged as a collaborative effort between Alserkal Art Foundation, Barjeel Art Foundation, and the Palestinian Museum. Curated in just two weeks in response to the urgent humanitarian crisis in Gaza, the exhibition presents over 100 artworks, spanning paintings, drawings, sculpture, embroidery, and film.

Diverse Contributions: Artists Express Solidarity

Contributed by the Barjeel Art Foundation, the collection includes works by esteemed Palestinian artists like Sliman Mansour, Laila Shawa, Ismail Shammout, and Jawad Al Malhi. Artists from various regions, including Jordan, Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Kuwait, and the UAE, express solidarity with Palestine.

Highlighting Significant Works: Art Foundation

Notable pieces include Faten Alfred Tubasi’s ‘Heroic Act’ (1984), publicly exhibited after 40 years, depicting the martyrdom of Lina Al Nabulsi. Layan Shawabkeh’s ‘Ladies of Gaza’ (2009) poignantly reflects the pain of Palestinian women.

Olive Trees as Symbols: Sliman Mansour’s Impactful Art

Sliman Mansour’s ‘Memory of Places’ (2009) and ‘October Afternoon’ (2011) spotlight the significance of olive trees in Palestinian history. The exhibition confronts the destruction of over 800,000 olive trees by Israeli authorities since 1967.

Glimpses of Hope and Nostalgia

Raafat Ballan’s ‘The City Before it was Transformed’ (2021) and Ismail Shammout’s ‘Madonna of the Oranges’ (1997) offer glimpses of hope and nostalgia. The showcase also features a short sci-fi film, ‘Nation Estate,’ by Larissa Sansour, projecting a satirical vision of a vertical solution to Palestinian statehood.

Visual Journey Through Everyday Life

Incorporating 68 photographs from the Palestinian Museum Digital Archive, the exhibition provides a visual journey through Gaza’s everyday life. The goal is to foster ‘informed contemplation,’ urging audiences to witness the harsh reality of occupation while collectively envisioning a brighter future.

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