Art, literature, and music have always been vessels for fighting against oppression. When it comes to the mission of a free Palestine, their power is not insignificant.
Over the last month, the world has watched the 75-year-long occupation of Palestine by the hands of Israeli forces erupt into one of the worst humanitarian crises of our lifetime. Every day, Palestinians keep losing lives, resources, and their homes.
What to do when faced with this level of injustice can be difficult to grasp. However, one thing that’s in everyone’s repertoire is the use of their voice. Whilst some cultural organisations are hesitant in displaying their support, others have been unapologetic in it.
In the music industry, Ghana-based radio station Oroko Radio was immediate in its display of support. Oroko paused its regular showcase to rebroadcast a 12-hour sound program by Palestinian radio station Radio Alhara. Across it, they blended songs, chants, talks, discussions, and more from Palestinian voices and advocates, making for a beautiful and powerful listen. In London, dance music platform Keep Hush urgently curated a post highlighting funds to support, accounts to follow, and a powerful selection of Palestine-centred music moments.
In the literature world, a new ad hoc coalition was born: Writers Against The War On Gaza. The collective blends voices from diverse publications and backgrounds in their commitment to solidarity toward a free Palestine. They share useful resources to gain insight into the conflict as well as support for people who are facing backlash for their stance on the issue.
Finally, in the art world, whilst some remain silent, many are stepping up and being vocal. The Institute of Contemporary Arts, which is a participating venue for the London Palestine Film Festival, publicly advertised its building as a space of shelter for protesters marching through Central London who may need toilet, water, or respite. An art gallery showcasing culture from the Arab world The Mosaic Rooms has been relentless in providing knowledge and education, participating in the Global Strike, and offering evenings of healing. South London’s historically Black-led venue 198 Art Contemporary Arts recently announced Gathering: We Are Many, in collaboration with curators Languid Hands, an evening of readings, poetry, and art in honour of Palestinian liberation.
At a time when many are choosing to self-censor, vocally siding with Palestinians is essential. These cultural organisations are paving the way and hopefully, more and more will follow and show that Israeli occupation needs to be actively rejected on a global scale.
Discover more from GUAP’s Arts and Culture Section here.