2 June 2008
Our fourth companion arrived late last night and we are bringing him up to speed. He is impressed with the size of our canvas and the headway we've made with our design, but we still had a lot of work to do and we were anxious about gridding the wall and getting some of the designs laid out on the building.
The plan is for different Palestinian artists to fill in the silhouettes and international artists or those not able to participate on the ground, will contribute designs for the notes on the musical staffs which will be the musical notation for Biladi ("My Country") the National Anthem of Palestine and Mawtini ("My Homeland"), another unofficial national ballad of Palestine.
31 May 2008
The plastering has dried and we have scaffolding! Amazing!
Our dear comrade Amjad, the groundskeeper at the Conservatory, is busy priming the building while we continue to adjust the design and meet with various Palestinian artists who we’ve invited to participate in the painting of the mural.
Also, after visiting and meeting more than one handful of paint store owners and having many cups of coffee while discussing the paint options we finally succeeded in finding one that carries acrylic paint and will bring it from Jerusalem. Nearly a week into the project, we are more than relieved to have found the paint! John arrives tomorrow! So exciting.
29 May 2008
We visited the village of Bil’in today and met with Mohammed Khatib and Eyad Bornat from the Popular Committee against the Wall. Since 2005, the people of Bil’in have been protesting the construction of the Wall in their village with participation from Israeli and international activists as well as Palestinians from around Palestine. The construction of the Wall has resulted in the de-facto annexation of 2,400 dunums of land (600 acres) - over 50% of the land belonging to the village facilitating massive Israeli settlement expansion east of the Green Line.
Next week will be the 3rd Annual International Conference on the Joint Popular Struggle. The image chosen for the Conference is a cartoon by Palestinian cartoonist Naser Al Jafari that appeared in Al Quds newspaper after an action in which the people of Bil’in chained themselves to the olive trees, that were slated to be uprooted (for a video of this action click here).
While our original idea was to paint something on the ‘outpost’ the villagers built on their land which lies on the other side of the Wall in protest of the illegal Israeli settlements being built on their land, the Palestinians in Bil’in preferred that we paint in a more visible building in the village. So we will paint next week before the beginning of the Conference on the majlis or the Village Council.
We’re looking forward to it!