Art, Music & Culture

Music Video: "Hala" from rappers The N.O.M.A.D.S. and the Philistines

The N.O.M.A.D.S. and
the Philistines
18 August 2006

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The N.O.M.A.D.S. (Notoriously Offensive Male Arabs Discussiing Sh*t) and The Philistines bring you quality hip-hop with a purpose and the video to their new track “Hala,” directed by JCON. Both groups co-sponsored and performed at the Free the P Hip-Hop and Slam Party in New York City earlier this year, which benefited Slingshot Hip-Hop, a documentary film that focuses on the daily life of Palestinian rappers living in Gaza, the West Bank and inside Israel. Based in the US, the groups are part of the growing Palestinian and Arab hip-hop phenomenon.

Palestinian Filmmakers, Artists and Cultural Workers Call for a Cultural Boycott of Israel

4 August 2006

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We, the undersigned Palestinian filmmakers and artists, appeal to all artists and filmmakers of good conscience around the world to cancel all exhibitions and other cultural events that are scheduled to occur in Israel, to mobilize immediately and not allow the continuation of the Israeli offensive to breed complacency. Like the boycott of South African art institutions during apartheid, cultural workers must speak out against the current Israeli war crimes and atrocities. We call upon you to make your voices heard in calling for an end to this bloodshed and an end to this oppression that has lasted too long.

Christianity in Palestine: Misrepresentation and Dispossession

Timothy Seidel
2 August 2006

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“You are a Christian?” a foreign tourist inquires with marked disbelief of a Palestinian tour guide in Bethlehem. “When did you convert?” This response by foreigners, Christian or not, is unfortunately not uncommon in Palestine. Even in Bethlehem, the origin to which many trace the very roots of their Christian faith, this disbelief goes hand-in-hand with tourists’ visits to the Church of the Nativity — visits that seem to carry with them some image of a time long past with only archaeological or religious sites remaining with little consideration for the “living stones” that have continuously borne witness to this tradition for two millennia.

Edinburgh International Film Festival Returns Israeli Money in response to Boycott Plans

2 August 2006

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The organisers of the Edinburgh International Film Festival have cancelled an official Israeli Embassy sponsorship of their programme and returned the Israeli cheque following a huge public outcry over Israeli Embassy involvement. The film festival website carries the following: “this funding was secured some three months ago, well before the commencement of current hostilities in Lebanon. Of course we acknowledge that the situation has altered dramatically since then, and with this in mind, took the decision early yesterday to decline any funding from the Israelis.”

Letter from Palestinian filmmakers to Locarno International Film Festival 2006

18 July 2006

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We would like to express our deep concern with the fact that the festival’s Leopards of Tomorrow program is co-sponsored by the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Given the current belligerence exhibited by Israel in its ongoing brutal attack on Palestinian and Lebanese civilians and infrastructure, justified by the same Ministry of Foreign Affairs that is listed as a cosponsor of the festival, we demand that the festival organizers reconsider their relationship to the government of Israel, and withdraw the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs from the list of the festival’s sponsors.

Letter to Palestinian and Lebanese filmmakers from Israeli filmmakers

22 July 2006

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We, the undersigned Israeli filmmakers, greet the Arab filmmakers who have gathered in Paris for the Arab Film Biennial. Through you, we wish to convey a message of camaraderie and solidarity with our Lebanese and Palestinian colleagues who are currently besieged and bombarded by our country’s army. We unequivocally oppose the brutality and cruelty of Israeli policy, which has reached new heights in recent weeks. Nothing justifies the continued occupation, closure, and oppression in Palestine. Nothing justifies the bombing of civilians and the destruction of infrastructures in Lebanon and Gaza.

Film festival drops Israel as sponsor to protest attack

Jim Quilty
21 July 2006

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The organizers of the 2006 Locarno International Film Festival have dropped the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs as a festival sponsor because of that country’s unremitting bombardment of civilian targets in Lebanon and the Gaza Strip. The Israeli ministry was listed as a co-sponsor of one of the festival’s programs, called “Leopards of Tomorrow.” News of the sponsorship provoked a letter of protest from several Lebanese and Palestinian filmmakers and festival guests - who threatened to pull out of Locarno, which starts on August 2, if the links were maintained.

Reem Kelani: Telling the Palestinian narrative through song

Susannah Tarbush
11 July 2006

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The debut CD of Palestinian singer Reem Kelani - “Sprinting Gazelle: Palestinian Songs from the Motherland and the Diaspora” - is a major contribution from this remarkable singer, musical researcher and broadcaster towards reviving and spreading Palestinian culture. In the weeks since “Sprinting Gazelle” was released in the UK it has been acclaimed by critics and journalists, and has received excellent reviews in nearly every serious British newspaper. Critics have praised the quality, range and emotional depth of Kelani’s voice.

In remembrance: Ismail Shammout, 1931-2006

Samia A. Halaby
5 July 2006

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Ismail Shammout’s career as an artist and popular hero of Palestine began with his 1953 exhibition of oil paintings in Gaza of the catastrophic march through wilderness. The exhibited paintings objectify and socialize a pain that had simmered on a private level. Refugees in Gaza saw themselves reflected in Shammout’s work and felt relief. An immense attendance of the general population in Gaza, including those living in refugee camps, overwhelmed Shammout, then studying in Egypt. This stunning response to the show was a hint of the bottled up hope for liberation.

Film Review: "Kings and Extras": Digging for a Palestinian Image

Maymanah Farhat
21 June 2006

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Azza El Hassan’s documentary Kings and Extras: Digging for a Palestinian Image chronicles the director’s journey on the trail of the lost PLO film archive that went missing in Beirut in 1982. Through the narratives of individuals whose interviews El Hassan feels can assist her with locating the lost archive, the film touches on several aspects of contemporary Palestinian life. The engaging documentary was featured in this year’s Chicago Palestine Film Festival, adding yet another dimension to the chronicling of Palestinian history.

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