Art, Music & Culture

Palestinian Filmmakers Question EU Audiovisual Grant

16 March 2006

Forty Palestinian filmmakers, including the 2006 Golden Globe winner Hani Abu Assad and 2002 Cannes Festival Jury Prize winner Elia Suleiman, signed a letter to the EU Euromed Audiovisual program questioning the shortlisting of an Israeli-led project. Despite serious indicators of mismanagement, and lack of legitimacy raised about the project, entitled Greenhouse, the Europe Aid office in Brussels decided to go ahead and grant it 1.5 million Euros, bringing into question the transparency and credibility of the criteria and decision-making employed by Europe Aid in the granting process.

"Gaza Blues: Different Stories" provides surrealist snapshot of conflict

Amal Awad
7 March 2006

A collection of darkly humorous short stories by popular Israeli writer Etgar Keret and a novella by Palestinian writer Samir El-Youssef, the idea behind Gaza Blues was born during a particularly violent period of the intifada in 2002. The result is a set of stories that are not explicitly about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but rather, the people living it and the complexity of their existences. The snapshot Gaza Blues suitably offers is one of violence and tension. However, it successfully attempts to draw back the curtains on the tragedies and rhetoric of the conflict, its layered subtext forcing the readers to review their understanding of the lives inhabiting the conflict.

NYC: Free the P Hip-Hop & Slam Party

2 March 2006

NAAP-NY in conjunction with the N.O.M.A.D.S.& the Philistines present…Free the P Hip-Hop Slam & Party in New York City on 16 March 2006. Proceeds will benefit NAAP-NY community initiatives and Slingshot Hip-Hop, a documentary film that focuses on the daily life of Palestinian rappers living in Gaza, the West Bank and inside Israel. It aims to spotlight alternative voices of resistance within the Palestinian struggle and explore the role their music plays within their social, political and personal lives.

Photostory: Freedom Theatre in Jenin aims to plant seeds of dignity

Maureen Clare Murphy
24 February 2006

The spirit of resistance has not been beaten out of Jenin, was the message at the opening of the Freedom Theatre in Jenin refugee camp last weekend. Calls by speakers for the Palestinians to stand firm despite Israeli and American pressure resonated with the crowd, men on one side of the hall and women and children on the other. On one of the walls of the theatre hangs a series of photographs of the original theatre created by the late Arna Mer Khamis. Witnessing the devastating affects of the first intifada on children, Arna created a series of creative programmes to give beleaguered Palestinian children a means of expressing themselves.

First Museum-quality Exhibition of Contemporary Palestinian Art to open in New York City on March 14th, 2006

20 February 2006

Made in Palestine is the first museum-quality exhibition devoted to the contemporary art of Palestine to be held in the United States. It is a survey of work spanning three generations of Palestinian artists who live in the West Bank, Gaza Strip, parts of Israel, Syria, Jordan, and the United States. “A rare opportunity to view contemporary art from Palestine… What these artists add to our minds’ images of destruction and despair from this troubled region is an underlying sense of consciousness,strength and hope, both in themselves and their people.” - ArtvsHouston Gallery Review

Freedom Theatre to open in Jenin refugee camp

18 February 2006

Final preparations are under way for the opening of the Jenin refugee camp Freedom Theatre. The Freedom Theatre, inspired by activities initiated by Arna Mer-Khamis during the first Intifada, was established by residents of the Jenin refugee camp in cooperation with Palestinian activists and artists from Haifa and the Galilee, as well as activists from Sweden and Britain. The Freedom Theatre, a registered non-governmental organization, is planning on establishing within the near future a community-based cultural center that will house a large theatre, rehearsal rooms, a music studio, and a library.

"Made in Palestine" art exhibition to open in New York City

14 February 2006

Al-Jisser is proud to announce the opening of the “Made in Palestine” art exhibition in New York City. After two years of fundraising, community events and wonderful support, Al-Jisser has leased a space in a central gallery building in the heart of Chelsea in Manhattan’s art world, to open and present this monumental exhibition to the art world, the community and the public. Please join with us in sharing in this great victory and in publicizing this exhibition far and wide. “Made in Palestine” will be opening at The Bridge 521 W. 26th St., 3rd Floor, NYC The show will be open to the public between March 14, 2006 and April 22, 2006, on Tuesdays through Saturdays, from 11 AM to 6 PM daily.

Palestinian Film Professionals Question Euromed Funding Initiative in Open Letter

13 February 2006

In December 2005, the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) sent a letter to the EUROPEaid office in Brussels concerning the shortlisting of a partnership between the Ramallah Film Institute and the New Foundation for Cinema and Television, estimated at $1.8 billion. Neither their letter, nor a letter sent by a group of 40 filmmakers and artists, received any response or acknowledgement from EUROPEaid. The following letter was resent by the group of filmmakers and artists emphasizing their continued concern with the respective project organisations’ lack of transparency and failure to condemn the Israeli occupation.

Arab music tour to benefit music education in Palestine

6 February 2006

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The ensemble

Playing lively arrangements based on classical themes, four Palestinian musicians will perform authentic instrumental Arab music in the U.S. for the first time, from February 14-24. Proceeds of the American Near East Refugee Aid (ANERA) sponsored concert tour will support the Palestine Youth Orchestra of the Edward Said National Conservatory of Music. Touring New York, Washington, D.C., and Philadelphia, the four Palestinian members of this unique Ensemble are faculty of The Edward Said National Conservatory of Music where both Arab and western music is taught to 550 Palestinian students of elementary through high school age annually, even under the difficult conditions of Palestine.

Munich, or Making Baklava

Joseph Massad
3 February 2006

“The best baklava is made by the Arabs in Jaffa,” insists the Mossad case officer to his chief agent in charge of assassinating those Palestinians Israel claims planned the Munich operation of 1972. Besides being excellent baklava-makers, we learn little else in Steven Spielberg’s film “Munich” about Jaffa’s Palestinians, the majority of whom were pushed into the sea by Zionist forces in May 1948. Columbia University professor and EI contributor Joseph Massad examines Spielberg’s film and finds that it continues a tradition started by Otto Preminger’s 1960 film “Exodus,” and ultimately serves to justify rather than question Israeli terrorism and violence.

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