3.17.2009

Middle Eastern Politics...

I decided to bring back two projects that I am very passionate about - actually I am really passionate about political art/design on a large scale, but more specifically when it has to do with issues in the Middle East. The first are two versions of my visual interpretation of a poem written by Weam Namou.

I Am a Mute Iraqi, with a Voice.

I am an Iraqi
but was never asked, personally,
what was better?
Saddam threatening to destroy me
if I crossed him politically?
Or tons of deleted uranium, napalm,
bullets, explosives
and other unfamiliar concoction,
besieging me
at some hidden corner of my street?

I am an Iraqi
but was never asked, personally,
what I wanted?
Freedom to vote for men and women
I know little about,
who may or may not better my life,
or to safely be able to step out of my house?

I am an Iraqi
but was never asked, personally,
do I want democracy
or the tradition of my ancestry?

I am an Iraqi
but was never asked, personally,
buy those who've come to rescue me,
have we really benefited you, my dear,
since the day we came near?
Or have we simply made a mess
of your little hut?

Another issue that I feel very strongly about are the injustices being committed by the Israelis towards Palestinians. This set of Amnesty International Human Rights posters I designed, should speak for themselves. For a SHORT introduction and map of the extremely inhumane and barbaric wall being built around Palestine - check out a {BBC} article. {Amnesty International}, {Amnesty International USA} and the {Universal Declaration of Human Rights} were the inspiration for this project.

Universal Declaration of Human Rights #9
No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile.

- The Israeli Wall consists of concrete sections that are 6 to 24 feet high and when complete, will be 408 miles long.
- The Berlin Wall was only 3.6 to 11.8 feet high and was only 96 miles long.
- The Wall, when completed, will be 80% concrete, and 100% permanent, with fenced parts resembling fences built around the concentration camps. It will place the Palestinians into dozens of isolated ghettos, and will annex - by Israel's standard legal power of 'de facto' change, 42% of the West Bank. It destroys 16 Palestinian civilian villages that have a total population of about 200,000 innocent people.

Universal Declaration of Human Rights #13
1. Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each state.
2. Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country.

- More than 500 Israeli checkpoints are scattered throughout the West Bank, which is roughly the size of Delaware.
- Palestinian students wait at checkpoints, sometimes for hours, to get to school. Laborers wait to get to work, mothers try to get to the grocery store, and doctors wait to get to the hospital. With a wave of a soldier's hand, they may be able to pass through or they may be stuck there indefinitely. Many of the checkpoints close at 5pm. If a Palestinian gets off work late, he or she is then unable to get home until the checkpoint re-opens the following morning.

Universal Declaration of Human Rights #28
Everyone is entitled to a social and international order in which the rights and freedoms set forth in the Declaration can be fully realized.

- Israeli soldiers prevent Palestinian girls from going to school in Hebron.
- For Palestinian children, Israeli occupation means the interruption of normal life, including education, social interactions, accessibility to health care, and loss of income for their families. In addition, there is psychological trauma from exposure to shelling, shootings, and beatings that lead to injuries, disabilities and loss of life.

Universal Declaration of Human Rights #5
No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

- Men and women are tortured and humiliated at checkpoints throughout the West Bank.
- Palestinian men and women are strip-searched and even beaten in groups, their clothes thrown into a pile. When they are finally allowed to get dressed, they describe having to rummage through the heap of clothing - naked and barefoot to find their garments. An elderly female victim reported being forced to bend over for an Israeli official to search her internally.

Israel is using American tax dollars in ways that degrade, humiliate, and kill innocent Palestinians - many of them being women and children.

2 comments:

  1. RIGHT ON!!!
    I Love Those Posters you designed last year!

    ReplyDelete