Video: Palestinian artists answer Israel’s Gaza war propaganda

Their styles may be very different, but three young Palestinian visual artists in the West Bank all view their work as a form of resistance against Israel’s occupation.

“We don’t use violence or blood imagery in the drawings we make,” said Bushra Shanan, who started to superimpose human figures on photographs showing plumes of smoke rising from buildings during Israel’s bombing of Gaza last year.

Shanan explained that she uses these particular images because “anyone who looks at them sees photos of explosions and ash. But for us Palestinians, these pictures have meanings, memories and stories that detail the reality.”

Jihad Abdul Haq relocates those explosions to a foreign context, encouraging viewers to identify with Palestinians.

“I am interested in having an international impact,” he said. “You can’t turn your back to someone who is going through war.”

A short animation by Nidal Fattash shows an Israeli gunboat mowing down four boys as they kick a soccer ball on a Gaza beach, their little bodies ascending to heaven.

For these artists, there is no escape from politics.

“Here in occupied Palestine, politics are involved in everything,” Fattash said.

“So naturally anyone would be influenced by this political climate and would express it the way they like,” he added.

Linda Paganelli is a visual anthropologist based in Palestine.