Art, Music & Culture

More Academy Resistance to Films From or About Palestine?

23 October 2005

Despite international acclaim and recognition, the California-based Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) has disqualified the Italian submission for the 2005 Oscars due to complications that challenge the Academy’s foreign language regulations. The film, Private, was written and directed by Italian Saverio Costanzo, and produced by an Italian crew, in association with Italian-based Rai Cinema, Instituto de Luce, Offside and Cydonia. The drama, which has been hailed as a courageous and optimistic look at the Middle East situation and features a groundbreaking cooperative Palestinian and Israeli cast, was shot primarily in Arabic and Hebrew.

FREE THE P! Palestine Takes NYC's East Village by Storm

Remi Kanazi
17 October 2005

As I walk down the darkened staircase into a muggy basement in this lower eastside dive bar, a scruffily bearded supporter smiles and waves a four-foot wide Palestinian flag. The chatter begins as the room fills with anxious people awaiting the show. The young crowd came out to support Free the P, the new CD compilation of “hip-hop and spoken word, dedicated to the youth of Palestine.” The proceeds will go to Slingshot Hip-hop, “a documentary film that focuses on the daily life of Palestinian rappers living in Gaza, the West Bank and inside Israel.” Within moments, our hostess, Arab-American comedienne Maysoon Zayid, takes the ground level, makeshift stage and gets the crowd going with her dry, political humor.

Selling colonialism

Anthony Loewstedt
13 October 2005

Kingdom of Heaven, directed by Sir Ridley Scott and starring Orlando Bloom, Jeremy Irons, Eva Green, Liam Neeson, has now been released on DVD (20th Century Fox). Watching this Hollywood extravaganza is like seeing the current Iraq war through the eyes of an American soldier, or a portrait of apartheid from the point of view of a rich white South African farmer, or a depiction of the Jewish settlements in the West Bank from the perspective of a Jewish settler. It is also like the foreign news in the quality U.S. and British news media today: no direct or conscious lies, but extremely one-sided. In end effect, it has all the historicity of an early cowboys-and-Indians-movie or Birth of a Nation, the infamous 1916 film that sympathizes with the Ku Klux Klan.

The case for cultural boycott

12 October 2005

In 2004 the 20th Haifa International film festival established a section for “New Palestinian Cinema” in cooperation with Masharaf magazine in Haifa. Several Palestinian film makers were invited to present their films at this festival. A number of us at Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) contacted some of these filmmakers to urge them not to participate in that festival. There were two main reasons for that: the first was that the film festival was sponsored by the Israeli government and held under the patronage of Limor Livnat a minister in Sharon’s government and a member of the Likud party, well-known for her racist and Zionist positions and actions.

Theatre Review: My Name Is Rachel Corrie

Cindy Corrie and
Craig Corrie
11 October 2005

When our daughter Rachel Corrie was killed by an Israeli bulldozer in the Gaza Strip on March 16 2003, an immediate impulse was to get her words out to the world. We realised that her words were having a similar effect on others whose lives were being changed. Earlier this year, when a play created entirely from Rachel’s emails and journals first opened in London, we saw in a very immediate way the impact that Rachel’s words can have on others. It is disturbing to see our daughter played on stage, but it drives home the impact she has had since her killing in Gaza.

The Skies are Weeping to premiere in London

Philip Munger
11 October 2005

Eighteen months ago I wrote a press release for what I thought would be the upcoming performance of a memorial cantata about a dedicated American college student, to be performed by other dedicated American college students. It was not to be. Some of the premises I had accepted in creating the work were seriously flawed. The first of many flawed premises was that in the environment of the ongoing Iraq War, one could expect an even table when presenting an antiwar argument - especially in a work of fine art. I was wrong.

Gazan poets gather for reading on eve of Ramadan

Sami Abu Salem
11 October 2005

Lanterns and old-fashioned lamps dangled from the wood ceiling over hundreds of citizens gathered on the eve of Ramadan (the month of fasting for Muslims) to attend night of poetry recitation by young poets. The four young poets were in a semi-competition to win the most applause from the officials and ordinary citizens who were enthusiastic to spend this unique time far from politics. The night of poetry recitation, “There is a Room for Happiness”, was organized by the Rahala Association.

Rap group DAM to hold first US show October 5!

3 October 2005

On 5 October 2005, history will be made when ‘48 Palestine rap group DAM (Da Arabic MC’s) perform their first concert in the U.S. Celebrate the Palestinian hip hop movement with DAM, with additional performances by Chosan, Invincible, Akil Dasan, La Bruja, Anthony Morales and special guests. The trailer for the new film Slingshot Hip Hop: The Palestinian Lyrical Front by Jackie Salloum will be screened as well. The concert will be held at Climax, 14 Avenue B (between 1st and 2nd) at 9:30, and is presented by: World Up, Nomadic Wax, The Hip Hop Association, and the International Hip Hop Exchange

Palestine's first Octoberfest in Taybeh

Maureen Clare Murphy
1 October 2005

There’s a first time for everything, and this weekend it was Palestine’s first Octoberfest-styled beer festival, held in Taybeh village. Excited local boy scouts and townspeople mixed with foreigners who had made the pilgrimage to the Biblical city of Ephraim, and the entertainment was geared towards all parties - children’s performances, live music, and, of course, Taybeh beer. Taybeh’s second claim to fame, apart from its visit by Jesus before he traveled to Jerusalem, is its brewery - the only one in Palestine, and one of only a handful in the Arab Middle East.

Three Cities Against the Wall: Ramallah, Tel Aviv, New York

27 October 2005

Three Cities Against the Wall is an exhibition protesting the Separation Wall under construction by Israel in the Occupied Territories of Palestine. This project involves groups of artists in Ramallah, Palestine; Tel Aviv, Israel; and New York City. The show will be held simultaneously in all three cities in November 2005. Through this collaborative exhibition, the organizers and participating artists will draw attention to the reality of the Wall and its disastrous impact on the daily lives of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians by the separation of Palestinian communities from each other and from their fertile lands, water resources, schools, hospitals and work places; thereby “contributing to the departure of Palestinian populations,” as the International Court of Justice (ICJ) has warned.

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