Windows into Gaza
An exhibition of work by Gaza artists organized by Gaza Action Ireland, curated by Felim Egan
‘Windows Into Gaza’ provides an opportunity for Ireland to experience and look into the wealth of Art & Culture that is deeply steeped in Gaza’s 4,000 years history.
Today Gaza, Palestine is known to the world as a place that has been destroyed by the brutality, greed and oppression by the government of Israel and it’s allies.
A land where death, murder, and the on-going siege are all too familiar. We all know of this darker side of Gaza, of destruction, of suffering, of apartheid of death and of war. Yet, through the resistance and strength of its people, it remains a place full of aspirations, of a love of humanity, of a deeply rooted culture.
I participated in the flotilla movement in November 2011.Our small ship, the ‘MV Saoirse’ and the Canadian ship ‘Tahir’ were attacked by the Israeli navy in international waters. It was towed to Israel and all 26 on board were arrested, charged ‘ironically’ with illegally entering Israel, subjected to rough treatment, before spending 8 days in an Israeli prison.
Gaza Action Ireland visited Gaza in 2013. My focus was on the local arts community, whom I have been in contact with for the past three years. I spent several days with the group, ‘Windows from Gaza’ and participated in a children’s art workshop, which the artists run on a voluntary basis. Most of the children come from the refugee camps, where conditions are even more appalling than the general impoverished situation. Yet, the benefits to the children were obvious, despite the trauma they endure almost daily at the hands of the Israeli government.
This face of Gaza is missing, an aspect that almost nobody hears about. Art can show the tragedy in Gaza, filtered through it’s artists through its deep culture, paintings, photography, literature and music. It illustrates the spirit of life, a deep reflective side one of innovation and enlightenment.
“This is our first exhibition in Ireland as Palestinian artists from Gaza. This exhibition is a very important artistic event through which we hope to provide an authentic picture of cultural life in Gaza, a place that has been under siege for more than seven years. Gaza Action Ireland and Felim has made possible the fulfillment of our wish to present this work to an Irish audience – an audience to whom we extend our greatest respect and appreciation.” Mohammed Al Hawajri.