June 23, 2013

Homage To Palestine

"Falasteen (Taffaha)" 2011

Needle and Thread: used to mend, stitch, patch, sew, embroider, darn, tailor, embellish, construct, repair, create.

Al-Tatreez: Palestinian embroidery

"Falasteen (Taffaha)" 2011

I made this piece in homage to Palestine, a sort of portrait of an aspect of the culture,
Al-Tatreez, that I have great admiration for and that endures under circumstances in which Palestine-- the people and the land--is so often a target of the Zionist regime.

I titled this piece "Falasteen (Taffaha)", which means "Palestine (Apple)" in Arabic.
The surface of the sculpture is hand-stitched paper mosaic; the apple, a symbolic
allusion to the William Tell story, is overlaid with an approximation of a design I saw
in a photograph by Sarah Farahat entitled "International Women's Day, Bethlehem,
Palestine" (2009).  It is from her 2011 show of photographs and installations
and events called Can You See Me Now? (Part 1)
It can be viewed on the right-hand slideshow of her website.

To me this photograph contains a profound narrative: its immediate evocation
of a rich culture, the stunning contrast- both visually and soulfully- between
foreground and background.

The photograph: a young girl looks directly into the camera--at all of us. She is
wearing a colorful embroidered dress; next to her in partial view (we see just a section of another dress and the beautiful stitching on it) stands an adult--her mother?
At mid point is razor wire, behind which stand two IDF soldiers in drab green uniforms.
They wear helmets and carry automatic rifles..... are they themselves colonized,
soul-deadened by their own indoctrination?

My eye is always drawn back to the the girl and the joyful, vivid colors and designs
of the dresses. It is tragic that she has to live in an apartheid state, under the boot
of the ongoing Israeli occupation.

Imagine a world without hate, indeed. May Palestine be free.

Embroidery in Palestinian Culture- http://ariel.chronotext.org/asalah/2/section_1.htm

Piece of Peace- http://pieceofpeaceseattle.weebly.com/

Palestinian Refugee Camp Embroidery Projects- http://palestinecostumearchive.com/refugee_camps.htm

Women in Hebron- http://womeninhebron.com/