Art, Music & Culture

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.

Rachel's Words Live On

Remi Kanazi
27 March 2006


On March 22, a congregation of ardent supporters gathered to commemorate Rachel’s life and spread her words at the Riverside Church, the very church Martin Luther King first spoke out against the war in Vietnam. This event came out of controversy. The critically acclaimed play My Name is Rachel Corrie was canceled by the New York Theater Workshop. Just weeks after the cartoon controversy and the mass trumpeting of free speech worldwide, Rachel Corrie was being silenced. The New York Theater Workshop attempted to crush her memory but her words live on.

Rachel's Words Tonight in New York City

21 March 2006


“My Name is Rachel Corrie” is a powerful one-woman show based entirely on the diaries and emails of Rachel Corrie. The play was scheduled to open at the New York Theatre Workshop on March 22nd. It has been postponed indefinitely, sparking an escalating controversy. Rachel’s words will still be heard on that day. Rachel wrote about issues that concern us all. Come hear an array of academics, activists, performers and playwrights read selected writings of Rachel Corrie, honor her through poems and songs, and discuss the context in which her words were written and the pervasive climate of fear in which they have been suppressed.

Open Letter to Actress Sharon Stone

21 March 2006


Dear Ms. Stone: In an interview with the Israeli paper Ha’aretz you stated that your visit to Israel did not imply taking sides. “I am not for or against one side,” you insisted, adding: “When my children fight, I don’t choose any side, either. I love them equally.” Your comments reveal a surprising level of naivete and a basic lack of understanding of the context. In a situation of undisputed colonial oppression, when you are not “for or against” either side, you are essentially on the side of the oppressor and a supporter, perhaps an unwitting one, of the status quo of colonial domination and oppression.

Open Letter to Pink Floyd's Roger Waters

18 March 2006


Mr. Waters: The Palestinian arts community received in disbelief the news of your upcoming performance in Tel Aviv in June, at a time when Israel continues unabated with its colonial and apartheid designs to further dispossess, oppress and ultimately ethnically cleanse Palestinians from their homeland. We strongly urge you to cancel your plans to perform in Israel until the time comes when it ends its illegal occupation of Palestinian territory and respects the relevant precepts of international law concerning Palestinian rights to freedom, self-determination and equality.


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