Community Celebration and Unveiling of the Oakland Palestine Solidarity Mural #Artists4Palestine
Sunday, August 10th
401 26th Street @ Telegraph
Music, Performances, Speakers, and Art Auction. http://www.estria.org http://www.artforces.org http://www.fosna.org
The Oakland Palestine Solidarity Mural is a monumental work of public art located in Uptown Oakland on 26th Street between Telegraph and Broadway. The mural pays homage to the history of Bay Area public art and expresses solidarity with Palestinians as bombs continue to fall on Gaza.
The Oakland Palestine Solidarity Mural adopts the image of the tree as a central motif and global visual signifier to link seemingly disparate issues and distant locations. Spanning 157 feet and reaching 22 feet high, the mural is comprised of nine separate panels, where each artist or team of artists has painted his or her own interpretation of a tree to address social and political issues.
These issues include the shared histories of colonization, environmental exploitation, internal exile of indigenous peoples, resilience and resistance to these injustices. The mural dedication will be held on August 10, 2014 from 1-4 pm and is free and open to the public. The dedication will include poetry, music, traditional Palestinian dance, local stiltwalkers from LocoBloco and an art exhibit From Gaza to Oakland.
This exhibition includes artwork from Gaza artists and photo journalists responding to the recent assault; historical photos of the expulsion of Palestinians from what is now called Israel; print portfolios from Middle East Children's Alliance and work by muralists and friends of Oakland Palestine Solidarity Mural.
This exhibition will open in conjunction with the mural unveiling on August 10th and will run through September 30, 2014.
The twelve participating artists come from a wide array of backgrounds, ethnicities and cultures. They include Dina Matar, who is participating virtually (Gaza); IROT (Native American); VYAL (Chicano-Native American); Deadeyes (African American); Erin Yoshi (Japanese American); Susan Greene (Jewish American); Emory Douglas (African American); Nidal El Khairy (Palestinian); Chris Gazaleh (Palestinian American); SPIE (Asian American); Fred Alvarado (Latino American); Miguel Bounce Perez (Chicano-Pacific Islander American).
Each artist was given a broad design parameter to use within the tree motif, which is a common metaphor for life and a symbol of global commonality. From this simple directive, the artists have created imagery true to each one's individual aesthetic. The result is a public tribute to the human spirit and its unassailable right to thrive in spite of political oppression and injustice--wherever it is taking place in the world.
The seeds for the idea behind The Oakland Palestine Solidarity Muralwere planted in July 2011 when Art Forces and the Estria Foundation's #WaterWrites worked together with the Middle East Children's Alliance (MECA) on the MAIA Mural Brigade in Palestine. A group of American youths, artists, trauma therapists and activists traveled to the Gaza strip and the West Bank to paint murals about compromised water quality at different schools, and youth centers to raise awareness for the basic human right to clean water.
The murals were painted at the sites of water purification systems that were installed by MECA and provided clean water to more than 54,000 children and their families. Over the course of this process and in the proceeding years, the idea to bring artists from Palestine to the United States took hold and the Oakland Palestine Solidarity Mural became a reality.
In describing the goals of this public art project, Art Forces states:
The Oakland Palestine Solidarity Mural is a monument to joint struggle across movements and distances. In this era of globalization, all of our struggles for justice are intimately linked. Art Forces aims to contribute to social transformation by using art and media to build and strengthen relationships, activate public spaces and engage and move people to work for a better world.