In 2006 Israeli art historian Gannit Ankori published Palestinian Art (Reaktion Books LTD, London), a 200-plus page text that attempts to “emphasize the broad range and richness that characterize Palestinian art, as well as its specific manifestations and individual narratives. Maymanah Farhat writes for The Electronic Intifada, the first in a series reviewing recent surveys of Palestinian art. Read more about Review: Gannit Ankori's "Palestinian Art"
Of the 27 films featured in the 2009 Chicago Palestine Film Festival held last April, two exceptional shorts demonstrate the breadth of recent Palestinian cinema. Approaching the Israeli occupation from contrasting vantage points, Be Quiet(2006) and The View (2008) press viewers to imagine life under a system that dictates virtually every minute of one’s being. Maymanah Farhat reviews for The Electronic Intifada. Read more about New short films showcase breadth of Palestinian cinema
In addition to a long list of films exploring themes of social injustice and conflict, Swedish filmmaker PeÅ Holmquist has directed several on Palestine. Young Freud in Gaza (2008), his most recent documentary on the subject, enters the recesses of Palestinian society as it copes with life under Israeli occupation. Directed with Holmquist’s longtime partner, Beirut-born Armenian filmmaker and journalist Suzanne Khardalian, the 60-minute film follows Ayed, a 27-year-old psychologist working for the Palestinian Authority’s Clinic for Mental Health in northern Gaza. Maymanah Farhat reviews for The Electronic Intifada. Read more about At a breaking point: "Young Freud in Gaza"
Swiss filmmaker Anne-Marie Haller’s 60-minute documentary Telling Strings provides a rare look into the profound workings of a Palestinian family of musicians. Initially, the film appears unassuming yet its powerful content, stunning cinematography and informing moments make it a welcomed addition to a long list of documentaries on Palestine. Maymanah Farhat reviews for The Electronic Intifada. Read more about Film review: Musical resistance in "Telling Strings"
Annemarie Jacir’s Salt of this Sea (2008) is the first full-length feature film by a Palestinian female director. Since its world premier at the 2008 Cannes Film Festival, it has toured the world and is scheduled to screen at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York at the end of the month. Maymanah Farhat reviews for The Electronic Intifada. Read more about Finding a sense of home in "Salt of this Sea"
Even before Israel’s most recent devastating invasion, the combination of 41 years of Israeli occupation, frequent military incursions and attacks, infighting among Palestinian factions, and a dwindling economy created a difficult, if not impossible, environment to sustain an art scene. Yet, writes The Electronic Intifada contributor Maymanah Farhat, artists in Gaza have continued to create and organize. Read more about Gaza's artists under fire
On 13 November Palestinian conceptual artist Emily Jacir was awarded the prestigious Biennial Hugo Boss Prize. Established in 1996 in conjunction with the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation to “recognize significant achievement in contemporary art,” the prize includes a $100,000 award and a solo exhibition at the Guggenheim Museum New York in 2009. The award is the latest honor for the celebrated artist. Maymanah Farhat reports. Read more about Palestinian artist Emily Jacir awarded top prize
As contemporary Palestinian artists continue to exhibit internationally with the same determined and prolific impetus that has characterized their work for decades, their impact on international art will further underscore the fact that the Palestinian struggle coincides with larger international political issues that the global community cannot continue to ignore. Amidst the creative and sociopolitical contexts that configure contemporary Palestinian art, the 6+ artists collective chose to embark upon a journey that would take them not only across time zones, military check points and red tape, but through the experiences of 14 artists working to negotiate social, historical and political realities. Read more about The Unearthing of Secrets: Palestinian Art, 6+ and a Series of Transgressions
Katie Barlow’s documentary Visit Palestine was one of the most riveting films to be featured in this year’s Chicago Palestine Film Festival. In the film Barlow follows Irish human rights activist Caoimhe (pronounced Cueeva) Butterly during her stay in Jenin refugee camp in 2002. Among her extensive involvement in the Jenin community, Butterly worked with local volunteers shortly after the 2002 massacre, unearthing the bodies of over sixty civilians who had been killed in the incursion. Butterly’s willingness to risk her own safety to intervene in and witness the ongoing assault on Palestinian civilian life gained her the respect and trust of Jenin residents, as she was welcomed into the homes of several families. Read more about Film Review: "Visit Palestine" and gain an insider's view