Monday, March 8, 2010

Break the Silence Olympia-Rafah Solidarity Mural Project

These are a few of the leaves on the Olympia Rafah Solidarity Mural Project. It is intended to build solidarity among people globally
Take a look and see below for more information.

"If you have come to help me than you are wasting your time. But if you have come because your liberation is bound up in mine, let us walk together"

Break the Silence Mural project has been collaborating with communities in Rafah and elsewhere in the Occupied Territories to paint murals for nineteen years. The mural in this post is in Olympia Washington co-sponsored by the Rachel Corrie Foundation, the Middle East Children's  Alliance, the Gaza Community Mental Health Community, Program and the Olympia Salvage Company.

It was inspired by the life of Rachel Corrie as part of her dream of creating a sister city project between Olympia and Rafah, Gaza Strip.

It includes over one hundred and fifty separate large leaves on an olive tree that spans one hundred feet.  It was painted by peace and justice groups from all over the world, a remarkable job of collaboration, and logisitical organization. Hundreds of artists of all ages contributed to the mural.

Each leaf will eventually have a recording that tells about the group that made it, or some information about their political concerns. You can see there are a range of different ideas, resistance, peaceful solidarity, women's rights, and anti racism.
In the image just above you can see a dove flying off to the right. At the top is Gail Tremblay's leaf, which has maps that compare in red land belonging to Palestinians in 1948 and 2005 and below, land belonging to US Indians in 1775 asnd 2005. It has caused controversy among some Jewish people in Olympia, because it is clearly sympathetic with the plight of the Palestininan people. But Break the Silence is the project of a several Jewish artists who cannot remain silent when the Israelis are acting in their name to kill and oppress the Palestinians. In fact, most of the artists that I know about who are most active in making art about the Palestinians are Jewish. Selma Waldman for example, whom I have mentioned often here, and who would certainly have contributed a leaf if she were still alive.

Here are a few more leaves. It would be better to have a close up of each leaf. I will try for that on my next trip to Olympia.

This is the whole tree, it is on a 35 x 100 foot wall of the Labor Temple in Olympia, Washington.

No comments: