Art, Music & Culture

"On the brink of..."

“This is not a poem. This is not a threat. / This is a promise. / God has a better imagination / than all of us combined and I do not / know what form retribution will take / but I have seen karma happen and it will / again, and when it does I will chant / the names of the innocent and I will stand / with those who have kept their hands clean of blood/ and their hearts clear of hate.” Poet Suheir Hammad offers an elegy for the life and work of Rachel Corrie. 

Ninja in Nazareth

“When people ask me if the film is about the occupation of the Palestinian people, I say right away that this isn’t a film about anything. If it has to be reduced to one subject, I say it’s a film about occupation in the world as a whole — it focuses on Israel only because Israel serves as a kind of microcosm.” Elia Suleiman, director of the award-winning film “Divine Intervention,” which has just opened in Israel, talks to Goel Pinto of Ha’aretz about the ideas behind the film. 

Review: 'Palestine' By Joe Sacco

Buy Sacco’s Palestine from “In 1991-2, Sacco, having “heard nothing but the Israeli side”, toured the occupied territories, seeking to immerse himself in Palestinian existence. The fruit of his labours emerged as a mini-series of nine comics, now a single set with an introduction by one of Sacco’s primary influences, Edward Said. Sacco is formidably talented. A meticulous reporter, he scrupulously interprets the testimonies of dozens of victims of the Israeli regime into cartoon form. He is also a gifted artist whose richly nuanced drawings tread a delicate path between cartoonishness and naturalism. His layouts shift in style to match the material: stories told to him emerge in symmetrical panel grids, while incidents in which he is involved, or engage his emotions, are rendered in a far looser style, in which images and captions slide across the page. ” Charles Shaar Murray reviews Palestine in the Independent. 

Review: "Real DJs do Real Things" by DJ K-Salaam

Above: Real DJs do Real Things cover. Although over 20 years old, hip-hop culture does not seem to have fulfilled the potential it once showed to become a serious political force in the U.S. Is there any hope for rappers to speak up and have their voices heard in a political climate much in need of constructive and intelligent dissent, debate and resistance? Ismail Khalidi reviews DJ K-Salaam’s album, Real DJs do Real Things and discovers that DJ tackles the taboo of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict — largely untouched in the music industry as well as in showbiz in general. Much like the inventive, hard-hitting beats and musical collages on his album, Salaam is similarly courageous in his liner notes as he makes a plea for justice for the Palestinian people. 

Review of Bernard Lewis' "What Went Wrong: Western Impact and Middle Eastern Response"

With regard to the Middle East, what does he mean by the question “what went wrong?” Does he mean to ask about economic underdevelopment? About lack of democracy? About a failure to contribute to scientific and technological advances? About ethnocentrism? All of these themes are mentioned in passing, but none is formulated as a research design. Michigan history proffesor Juan Cole reviews Bernard Lewis’ book. 

'Divine Intervention' features at Rotterdam International Film Festival

The award-winning Palestinian film Divine Intervention, directed by Elia Suleiman, will feature during the Hubert Bals Fund Harvest at the showcase for contemporary world cinema, the Rotterdam International Film Festival in the Netherlands. Moreover, ‘Divine Intervention’ is nominated for the Amnesty International -DOEN Award, a prize for films about human rights. 

Video Petition Project on Exhibit at Chicago's Museum of Contemporary Art

As part of the show entitled “War (What is it Good For?)”, the Artist Emergency Response collective will present the first version of its ongoing Video Petition Project. An hour and a half long, this video documents the first 200 petitioners who gave face and voice to the growing number of North Americans who oppose the Israeli Occupation of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. An AER press release offers more information 

'Divine Intervention' opens in NYC on January 17th

Avatar Films’ latest release, the critically acclaimed Divine Intervention, opens on Friday January 17, 2003, at the Angelika Film Center in Manhattan. The film is the first Palestinian work to receive a full American release. In this article, Keith Icove, VP of Business Affairs at Avatar Films, offers information about the initial screening and subsequent showings in NY, NJ, DC, and CA