Two extraordinary photography and painting exhibitions on the Israeli separation wall being built on the West Bank land are to open at Darat Al Funun on Saturday. Entitled âStop the Wall,â the show will include photographs by members of the international Stop the Wall campaign, including Mary Nazzal, Jordan representative of the drive, in addition to a painting exhibition by
Palestinian artist Adnan Sharif.
âThe exhibition is an attempt to elucidate the horrific realities of the apartheid wall in the occupied Palestinian lands,â Nazzal told The Jordan Times. âNothing I can paint, draw, build can show what is really happening with the wall,â Nazzal emphasised. âThis is an introduction to what it means to live imprisoned within it, where everyday people wake up in the morning with a huge wall in their face,â she explained.
At the exhibition there will be huge concrete slabs, a 50 per cent scaled-down version of the actual structure, whose true size is experienced in the photographs section. There are also medieval-style towers that intend to give visitors a glimpse of the wall’s breadth, even though the slabs stand half the size of the existing wall in Palestine.
âCurious individuals can peak through the slits between the concrete slabs to view an image of Palestinian life trapped behind the wall,â said Nazzal, who will also give a lecture on Feb. 10 focusing on the contrasting representation of the wall in the global media. As for Sharif, he says his 19 acrylic works are of feelings projected on the wall. Sharif calls it art therapy, saying: âWhen I am in a depressive mood about political issues I put the whole feeling on canvas.â
Also at the exhibitions will be a map of the West Bank meticulously detailed with the present and future route of the wall. Incongruous Palestinian towns, huge Israeli colonial settlements, and Jewish-only roads also featured in the map illustrate the wall’s strategic goal, which according to Nazzal, is âto take complete control over as much Palestinian land, water, and resources as possible, with as few Palestinians or non-Jews as possible.â
Visitors will hear heart-wrenching personal testimonies of Palestinians directly affected by the wall, amidst sounds of bulldozers, sirens, and cries. âThe wall, the fence, or the security fence, the result is the same âblockading every West Bank district,â according to Ibrahim Nasrallah, director of Darat Al Funun’s cultural activities.
In 2002, an Israeli military order was issued calling for the construction of what was called a âsecurity barrierâ north of Jerusalem and inside the West Bank as part of the next stage of its expansionist and repressive policy. This decision was based on the emergency martial law of 1949 and the implementation was given to the Israeli ministry of âdefence.â Last April, Israel announced that 27 kilometers of the âfirst phaseâ of the wall was complete. This phase of the wall, which represents only one-sixth of the projected completed wall, is taking place in the districts of Qalqiliya, Tulkarm, and Jenin along with current construction for the wall in Jerusalem
The exhibition can be seen through Feb. 19.