Israel Normal Travels Palestine Photography Politics

Palestine Wall Graffiti


Dear Reader,

Almost every city has its graffiti. Take a look at Cairo for example, or Belgrade. Even in Rome you find amazing drawings, if you passed by the San Lorenzo neighbourhood you cannot help but notice the enormous and colourful graffitis that tell the story of the Bombing of Rome in 1943.
Bethlehem is only a short drive away from Jerusalem, and yet it is a whole other world. Located in the West Bank of the Palestinian Territories, Bethlehem is foremost the birthplace of Jesus, the cradle of Christianity, home to the olive oil museum, and home to many passing-by artists as well. The wall has served as a freedom call for many artists from all over the world who come here and take advantage of space of the wall to draw a message.
Bethlehem is partly surrounded by a wall. This wall, not too different from the Berlin wall, is a sign of the divisions that afflict the region deeply. Built by Israel along as a separation barrier and within the West Bank, goes along cutting through much of the Territories. Parts of it are still incomplete and most of it is highly disputed by locals and international community.

This tormented town, however, is home to many non-violent (at times) protests that express themselves in graffiti. The beauty of graffitis and street art in general does not lie precisely in the drawings’ artistic level but rather in the meaning it represents. And these graffitis are still there for you on the Palestinian side of the wall, where hundreds of artists, activists, pacifists from all over the world thought of it as the symbolic canvas where they can draw meaningful murals and simply leave a message.

Lets leave politics aside for once and let’s give a chance to photos to speak for themselves…

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A reprise of “La Liberté guidant le peuple” by Delacroix is probably one of the most famous and biggest graffiti on the Separation Wall of Bethlehem, representing the revolution with Lady Liberty guiding her People towards Freedom.
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“Mujeres Artistas por la Paz” or Artist Women for Peace, no idea who did this one but its colours are simply beautiful and filled with hope using the warm sunset colours.
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The first graffiti I looked at that day, another piece by Banksy called “The Flower Thrower”. The seems like a guy involved in a riot, he wears a handkerchief and is depicted armed with a bouquet of flowers instead of a Molotov cocktail. Flowers substitute weapons, symbolising peace and hope in place of destruction.

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“Don’t forget the struggle” – a graffiti in honor of Leila Khaled, former member of the Popular Front of Liberation of Palestine, convicted in the 60’s for allegedly hijacking several airfreights, she is now a member of the Palestinian National Council, thus becoming a national symbol of the struggle for the liberation of Palestine.
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Banksy and its “Girl frisking a Soldier” ironic graffiti. Full of messages: the girl is wearing a pink dress and ponytail, symbolising innocence. The soldier, in olive-green clothing and a machine gun laying on the ground contrasts the innocence of the girl by representing aggression. The girl frisking the soldier symbolises the dehumanization of individuals as they are automatically assumed to be hostile based on their religion or ethnicity showing that cultural barrier prevents us from recognising humanity in others.

One comment

  1. Middle East crisis is a big concern, not just for Asia but also for UN and the world at large.

    You know, I was at a great place of pilgrim. Vrindavan is a town in Mathura(UP) India. Almost every wall and house over there has names of Krishna/Radha–indian deities. Krishna was born over there and there are about 5000 temples. You may visit it if you ever come to India.

    Best Wishes,

    Anand 🙂

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