Art, Music & Culture

Film Review: "Bethlehem Bandolero"

Maymanah Farhat
18 May 2006


Bethlehem Bandolero is a quirky six-minute short by Palestinian filmmaker Larissa Sansour. In the role of a “Mexican gunslinger” that could be straight out of a Spaghetti Western, Sansour’s performance captures the irrationality of Israel’s building of a twenty-five foot “security” wall as means of seeking “peace” with Palestinians. Sansour confronts the illogic of the situation with her own demonstration of absurdity in a witty but bizarre journey in her native Palestine where she takes on the wall in a High Noon-like duel, dressed in a pistol-toting getup that includes a large red sombrero and a black and white polka-dot bandana that covers her face.

Film Review: "Last Supper (Abu Dis)"

Maymanah Farhat
19 May 2006


Issa Freij and Nicolas Wadimoff’s documentary Last Supper (Abu Dis) examines a Palestinian village on the outskirts of Jerusalem that is slowly being enclosed by the Israeli apartheid wall. The twenty-six minute film exposes the violations of human rights that are resulting from the supposed “security” measurements the Israeli government has taken over the past six years. As the wall expands, Palestinians continue to be cut off from their communities, land, farms, families and social infrastructures.

Groundbreaking Syrian film festival doesn't overlook the Palestinian question

11 May 2006


This week, international arts nonprofit ArteEast saw the beginning of its North American tour of “Lens on Syria: Thirty Years of Contemporary Cinema”, a groundbreaking exploration of Syrian cinema. “Lens on Syria” showcases over 30 Syrian feature films, documentaries and shorts, many subtitled in English and screening for the first time in the US. Often described as Arab cinema’s “best kept secret”, ArteEast’s Syrian cinema series provides an unprecedented opportunity for audiences in New York to discover a politically timely and relevant program.

Film Review: The Chicago Palestine Film Festival's Evening of Shorts

Maymanah Farhat
11 May 2006


Rina Khoury’s West…East, is a nine minute narrative film about the Palestinian catastrophe that is told through the journey of a blind woman and her son, amidst an ambiguous landscape. Enas Muthaffar’s East…West is a sixteen minute documentary film that chronicles her family’s expulsion from their home as the apartheid wall encroaches nearby and threatens to segregate them from their community. Both films were shown in conjunction with two short films by Annemarie Jacir, Some Crumbs for the Birds and An Explanation (and then burn the ashes).

Film Review: Rashid Masharawi's "Waiting"

Ali Abunimah
8 May 2006


A young woman stands before a camera refusing to take the chair the director has set up. He asks why? “I have come to sing,” she says. Irritated, the director orders her, “You must act, didn’t they tell you we are looking for actors here?” With calm assertion she insists, “I do not know how to act. I have come to sing. Come on, you film and I will sing…” This scene illustrates a main theme running through Rashid Masharawi’s latest feature film Waiting: Palestinians forced to speak from someone else’s script, writes Electronic Intifada co-founder Ali Abunimah in this review of Masharawi’s latest feature which had its Chicago premiere at the Chicago Palestine Film Festival 2006.

FAST Conference: Reconstruction of Memory

25 April 2006


Preservation projects can be as emblematic as the destruction that induces them. Construction can be used both to reinforce a violent separation of the built environment and destroy the fabric of a former life. The FAST conference on May 14 in Amsterdam will form an inquiry into the ways preservation projects are being appropriated by official institutions in order to promote ideological and political agendas. Some torn threads of antiquity include the destruction of Muslim history, religious monuments and buildings in Bosnia; the destruction of black history and heritage in South Africa under the apartheid regime; and the destruction and distortion of Palestinian past after the creation of the State of Israel. A poignant example of this eradication of local memory is the village of Lifta.

Review: "The Wall and the Checkpoints"

Maureen Clare Murphy
24 April 2006


In the near future, it would be worth doing a follow-up exhibition to The Wall and the Checkpoints, recently shown at the Darat al Funun in Amman, Jordan, which featured Palestinian artists’ work on that theme. To the individual fresh from the borders and checkpoints of the occupied Palestinian territories, the artwork already begs to be updated, for Israel’s grip there is becoming that more tight. Indeed, it is this timeliness that gives the work a sense of urgency.

Roger Waters Refuses to be Another Brick in Israel's Wall

19 April 2006


Ramallah — Reiterating his opposition to the Israeli occupation and expressing his support for the Palestinian people in “their struggle to be free,” the internationally renowned rock star Roger Waters has announced that he is relocating his Israel performance in recognition of the problematic nature of the previously planned Tel Aviv venue, particularly at a time when Israel is escalating its repression and apartheid designs to further dispossess, ghettoize and ultimately ethnically cleanse Palestinians from their homeland.

Made in Palestine NY Exhibit extended following 3,364 visitors in 3 weeks

10 April 2006


April 11th, 2006 — Organizers of the Made in Palestine exhibit announced today that the New York show will be extended until May 27th, after seeing 3,364 visitors pass through the Chelsea exhibit, in the heart of New York’s art world, during the first three weeks. 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, the Galilee, Syria, Jordan, and the United States.

Book Review: American author's debut novel, "The Woman I Left Behind"

Maureen Clare Murphy
9 April 2006


Khalid and Irene are like two tectonic plates - when friction arises between them, their relationship is shaken to its core. Coming from two separate experiences - American Irene, who lived a privileged East Coast childhood, and Palestinian Khalid, who lost nearly all of the significant people in his life to war — the two come together with great passion that later gives way to uncertainty and distrust, shaking their faith in each other. Their rocky journey towards mutual trust is at the center of Kim Jensen’s debut novel The Woman I Left Behind.


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