The State Library of Victoria saw over 1000 visitors attend an exhibition and film festival highlighting the humanity of the Palestinian people in struggle under an inhuman occupation.
âPalestine Uncut: the â67 Occupation Exhibition and Palestinian Film Festivalâ marked 40 years of Israeli occupation of the remaining Palestinian lands, that is the West Bank and Gaza. The two day exhibition, held on June 16th and 17th, was the culmination of several monthsâ hard work by members of Women for Palestine, Australians for Palestine and the Palestine Community Association of Victoria. The prominent presence of Palestinian activists during the whole exhibit contributed strongly to the participation of public.
Visitors were moved by films showing the daily suffering of Palestinians. The organizers said of one film: âThe Iron Wall made many people angry to think that such inhumanity could be going on in our world today without governments or the media demanding an end to the Wallâs outrageous reason for being.â
They further attempted to demonstrate how imposing the Apartheid Wall is by creating a mock wall in the library.
Collages told the Palestinian narrative of Dispossession, an ongoing story as millions of Palestinians are still waiting to return home after 60 years from refugee camps and neighboring Arab countries. Also on display were paintings by Melbourne artist Dora McPhee including a series entitled âDisappearing Palestineâ. The paintings portrayed the gradual colonization of Palestinian land under Israeli apartheid, highlighting the deliberate trajectory of the Wall deep inside the West Bank.
Palestinian suffering, strength and resistance was also shown in an exhibition of photographs by Rusty Stewart and a selection of childrenâs paintings from Jenin refugee camp.
On both days presentations were given on different aspects of life under the occupation. Mary Baxter, a grandmother who has made numerous visits to Hebron over the last few years told the story of the daily courage of Palestinian children trying to go to school amidst stone-throwing Israeli settler children, and Michael Shaik talked on the political mechanisms of the occupation. They gave presentations to packed seminar rooms.
A virtual account of the exhibition can be found at https://www.67.com.au