Potent images of Palestine’s struggle to be shown at major Scottish festival

Tennis amid the tear gas: one of the images displayed in Edinburgh. 

Hamde Abu Rahma

Potent images of resistance will be displayed in a Palestinian contribution to this year’s Edinburgh Fringe, a major arts festival.

The photographs have been taken by Hamde Abu Rahma from Bilin, a West Bank village surrounded by Israel’s apartheid wall. He has been documenting the Palestinian struggle since Israeli soldiers killed his cousin Bassem during a 2009 protest. 

As part of a project called  Welcome to the Fringe, a full day (23 August) will be devoted to Palestinian art during the Scottish festival.

The day’s performances will include a new play, Shakespeare’s Sisters, from Al-Harah Theater, which is based in Beit Jala, near Bethlehem.

Among the other artists on the program are traditional storyteller Fida Ataya, dancers Farah Saleh and Yazan Ewidat, comedian Ayman Nahas, poet Alice Youssef and musicians The Shagaf Ensemble.

Welcome to the Fringe is the brainchild of Scottish playwright David Greig.

He was one of the many Scottish artists who supported a 2014 campaign which succeeded in pressuring Israeli state-funded performances to quit the festival.

Greig has said that he felt “Palestinian voices were absent from Edinburgh. I could hear Palestinians being talked about and around and over but I couldn’t hear directly from them.”

According to Greig, the aim of his initiative was to identify Palestinian artists whose work “ranges… from experimental to traditional, from political to the personal, the extraordinary and the everyday.”

Standing up to agression: another photo from the Fringe exhibition. 

Hamde Abu Rahma

Deep roots: the photographs feature Palestinians of all ages. 

Hamde Abu Rahma


Sarah Irving

Sarah Irving's picture

Sarah is a freelance writer and editor, author of a biography of Leila Khaled and of the Bradt Guide to Palestine, co-editor of A Bird is Not a Stone (a volume of Palestinian poetry translated into the languages of Scotland), and a PhD candidate at the University of Edinburgh. She has worked and traveled in Palestine since 2001.