Culture and Resistance
Victoria Brittain, Malak Mattar, Dr. Abdelfattah Abusrour, Mahmoud Muna
The Bethlehem Cultural Festival examines the role of culture in these difficult times. How do artists and cultural practitioners continue to work?
Image © Khaled Hourani
The Bethlehem Cultural Festival examines the role of culture in these difficult times. How do artists and cultural practitioners continue to work? Can creativity continue to flourish and can it help to provide the world with a deeper understanding of the experiences and fears of Palestinians?
Since 2006, Gaza and its people have lived in what many describe as ‘the world’s largest open air prison’. Most recently, they have suffered ten days of intense bombardment which has drawn the world’s attention. In the West Bank, the appropriation of property and land continues.
Panelists from Gaza, Jerusalem and the West Bank share their experiences and thoughts about how artists can and do respond.
The discussion will take place live on Zoom at 1730hrs UK / 1930hrs Palestine on Saturday 12 June 2021.
- Victoria Brittain, Journalist, London, in discussion with
- Malak Mattar, Artist, Gaza
- Dr. Abdelfattah Abusrour, General Director of Alrowwad Cultural and Arts Centre in Aida refugee camp, Bethlehem
- Mahmoud Muna, ‘The Bookseller of Jerusalem’
This discussion will be in English. Future dates will include discussions in French and in Arabic.
The Bethlehem Cultural Festival is a non-political, independent platform for artists and cultural practitioners to express themselves Freely. The Festival may not always agree with views expressed.
“The Bookseller of Jerusalem” – Mahmoud and his brothers run Educational Bookshop in East Jerusalem. Their bookshop is the only one there that sells books on and from Palestine in both English and Arabic. Started by his father about three decades ago, the bookstore has now grown into “a family business,” housed in a three-storey mansion – one for books, one for film screenings and one a café.
Founder and director of Alrowwad Cultural and Arts Society, established in 1998 in Aida refugee camp-Bethlehem. Abdelfattah has developed a philosophy called ‘Beautiful Resistance’ to inspire hope and promote life for children and youth. He is a social entrepreneur, an author, playwright, actor and director.
Malak Mattar, age 19, is an artist of startling originality from the Gaza Strip who paints powerfully expressionist faces, figures, and semi-abstract designs. She first started painting at age 13, during the 51-day Israeli military assault on Gaza in 2014. Forced to stay inside for her own safety, she felt a compelling need to release all of her negative energy.
Victoria Brittain is a British journalist and author, living and working for many years in Africa, the US, and Asia, including 20 years at The Guardian, where she was an associate foreign editor. In the 1980s, she worked closely with the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa.