A Child's View from Gaza
Exhibition: Thursday, June 7 to Sunday, June 24
Opening Reception: Thursday, June 7 from 6 pm to 8:30 pm
(see program below)
An exhibition of 26 full-colour drawings by children in Gaza. It was brought together by Susan Johnson, a Philadelphia-area activist for Palestinian rights. Susan first became interested in Palestinian human rights after visiting the West Bank in 2004 with a group called “Women of a Certain Age.”
Following “Operation Cast Lead,” Israel’s 22-day military assault on Gaza (beginning Dec. 27, 2008), Susan traveled with an ecumenical delegation to Gaza in May 2009. The delegation’s aim was to investigate the destruction caused by the assault and its impact on the lives of children. During the trip the delegation visited hospitals, refugee camps and schools.
On seeing the heart-wrenching, beautiful artwork that children were creating in an art therapy class, the delegation realized that an exhibit of the drawings would be an ideal way to promote public awareness of Gaza’s plight. Susan spearheaded the project on returning to the US, and with the help of Middle East Children’s Alliance (MECA), an NGO based in San Francisco, she approached centres in Gaza with her plan.
The exhibition drew over 1000 people its first day on display in the San Francisco Bay area, in part due to publicity about attempts by Bay-area pro-Israel organizations to have the exhibition suppressed.
Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME) is currently hosting a tour of the exhibition through the Maritimes, Quebec and Ontario, to enable children from Gaza to speak for themselves through their art. Each drawing reflects the child’s perspective on life in Gaza and the effect of Israel’s siege on his/her daily life. Thomas Woodley, president of CJPME says, “the exhibition reveals much about the Israel-Palestine conflict, but through the experiences and perspectives of the children. It’s a great way to sensitize people of all ages and backgrounds to the devastating realities faced by Palestinians living in Gaza.”
CJPME gratefully acknowledges Beit Zatoun's
co-sponsorship of this showing.
The Opening Reception program on June 7 includes 3 video shorts:
* Samouni Street (13 minutes)
* Gaza, did you know (5 minutes)
* Video interview with Gaza-based psychologist Dr. Eyad al-Sarraj, recipient of Physicians for Human Rights Award
Need to know:
- Exhibit is open for viewing on regular days and hours
- Opening Reception - Doors open at 5:45
- Admission: Free, but donations to defray CJPME’s expenses for tour greatly appreciated.
- Accessible on demand via portable ramp; washrooms not accessible
- Please avoid using strong-scented products due to sensitivities