Saturday July 7th 2-10pm.
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In Palestine, writes Ahdaf Soueif, everything, even the past, is penetrated by occupation.
“You can see the stony terraces and the centuries that coaxed them into fruitfulness, the Israeli wall severing them from their farmers, and the settlement road cutting through the sky above them, its supports digging deep into their soil. Nothing, not a single thing, is free of the occupation, its instruments, its outcomes.”
Since 2008, Soueif and her colleagues in PalFest, The Palestine Festival of Literature, have brought artists from outside Palestine to taste this bitter and complex experience, an experience evoked in ‘This is not a Border’ (2017). Breaking the cultural siege imposed by Israel, PalFest reaffirms, in Edward Said’s words, ‘the power of culture over the culture of power’ and strengthens Palestine’s cultural links with the rest of the world.
Artists for Palestine UK (APUK) launched in 2015, gives a platform to Palestinian voices, and campaigns against their silencing. There are many who would like art and culture to serve the project of occupation; APUK suggests a different role.
Artists for Palestine UK and PalFest bring to London a day of music, film, literature and food – celebrating Palestinian culture and its long history. These are difficult times for Palestine, and the roads to freedom seem more cruelly blocked than ever. To enact hope, to demonstrate support, to explore modes of solidarity become urgent and necessary.