41 views 9 mins 0 comments

The Powerful Street Art Campaign Spotlighting Israel’s War On Gaza

In World
January 30, 2024

Street artists worldwide are showing solidarity with photojournalists who are risking their lives covering Israel’s war on Gaza.

Shepard Fairey ― of Barack Obama “HOPE” poster fame ― is among the dozens of artists who’ve joined the Unmute Gaza project that is amplifying the work of local photojournalists on the ground amid Israel’s continued ban on international media from entering the territory.

Fairey and others have recreated some of the harrowing images emerging from Gaza as paintings and sketches, with a mute symbol in the middle.

The artworks are downloadable for free from the project’s website. People are urged to print them out and paste them on walls in their own cities and towns to raise awareness of the conflict.

Images that were taken by Belal Khaled were reimagined by street artist Ernest Zacharevic and are now on display in Penang, Malaysia.
Images that were taken by Belal Khaled were reimagined by street artist Ernest Zacharevic and are now on display in Penang, Malaysia.

Unmute Gaza / Antoine Loncle

“By creating artworks based on the images of these professional photojournalists, we wish to build a bridge between our community of artists and those facing death every second in Gaza,” the Unmute Gaza collective, whose members are donating their time and resources freely, wrote on Instagram.

It’s “a simple way to support while showing the truth of what is happening,” it added.

Fairey was compelled to join the initiative “because I’m a pacifist,” he wrote on his website.

“I was inspired to work from Belal Khaled‘s photo of a young boy who is crying out in pain from his injuries as blood runs down his face,” he said. “An image like this (and thousands of others) can strip away the superficial overlay of country, ethnicity, and religion and illuminate the basic human suffering that is happening in Gaza.”

Street artist Shepard Fairey's reworking of a photograph by Belal Khaled.
Street artist Shepard Fairey’s reworking of a photograph by Belal Khaled.

Unmute Gaza

The campaign went public in November 2023 when Unmute Gaza members unfurled banners featuring Spanish street artist Escif’s recreations of photos that were taken by Khaled and Mahmoud Bassam from the third floor of the Guggenheim Museum in New York City.

The stunt temporarily forced the museum to close its entrance, HyperAllergic reported at the time. Since then, artists’ reworked images have appeared in 80 cities across 29 countries — from Bogota, Colombia to Bristol, England.

Unmute Gaza members unfurled banners in the Guggenheim Museum in New York to draw attention to their campaign.
Unmute Gaza members unfurled banners in the Guggenheim Museum in New York to draw attention to their campaign.

Unmute Gaza

Last week, environmental activist organization Greenpeace joined Unmute Gaza to unfurl a gigantic banner featuring Fairey’s interpretation of Khaled’s image on Madrid’s Reina Sofia Museum, the home of Pablo Picasso’s “Guernica” painting which shows the horrors of the Nazi German bombing campaign on the Spanish town of the same name.

Picasso’s haunting painting is “a symbol of the suffering of civilians in war,” Greenpeace executive director Eva Saldaña said in a statement sent to HuffPost.

Unmute Gaza teamed up with Greenpeace to unfurl a gigantic banner on the Reina Sofia Museum in Madrid, Spain.
Unmute Gaza teamed up with Greenpeace to unfurl a gigantic banner on the Reina Sofia Museum in Madrid, Spain.

Unmute Gaza

“There is no better place to denounce what is happening in Gaza, to reconnect with our humanity in order to put life before everything else, to demand respect for current international law and to call for a ceasefire through the work of two great artists,” Saldaña added.

Israel launched its war on Gaza in response to Hamas’ surprise Oct. 7 attack in which 1,200 people — many civilians — were killed.

Israel’s retaliation has, to date, killed more than 25,000 Palestinians.

Some 85% of the territory’s 2.3 million residents have been forced from their homes.

Pablo Picasso's "Guernica" depicts the horrors of the Nazi German bombing of the northern Spanish town of the same name.
Pablo Picasso’s “Guernica” depicts the horrors of the Nazi German bombing of the northern Spanish town of the same name.

THOMAS COEX via Getty Images

On its website, the Unmute Gaza group condemned Hamas’ Oct. 7 attacks yet also slammed the “disproportionate response of the Israeli government” for creating “mass humanitarian suffering,” adding the violence stemmed from “deeply rooted causes” that “can be traced back to the XIX century.”

The group wrote, “Explaining the root causes of violence is under no circumstance a justification for it. We believe violence begets violence. Only peaceful, non-violent, and equitable measures will break the ongoing spiral of violence.”

It added, “We see ourselves as humanitarians. We stand in solidarity with all oppressed people, including the Palestinian people, and advocate for people’s inherent dignity.”

EMEA Tribune is not involved in this news article, it is taken from our partners and or from the News Agencies. Copyright and Credit go to the News Agencies, email [email protected] Follow our WhatsApp verified Channel210520-twitter-verified-cs-70cdee.jpg (1500×750)

Support Independent Journalism with a donation (Paypal, BTC, USDT, ETH)
whatsapp channel
Avatar
/ Published posts: 44074

The latest news from the News Agencies