Art(ists) in the Time of Palestine-Israel War

Gaza, the largest prison in the world, is being transformed into an abattoir. The word Strip (from Gaza Strip) is being drenched with blood, as happened sixty-five years ago to the word ghetto. –John Berger (2009)

More than two thousand people from the arts, including well-known actors Tilda Swinton, Charles Dance, Steve Coogan, Miriam Margolyes, Peter Mullan, Maxine Peake, and Khalid Abdalla, have signed a letter stating that their governments “are not only tolerating war crimes but aiding and abetting them.”

In a deleted tweet, artist Ai Weiwei’s support became controversial, and Lisson Gallery, a renowned contemporary art space in London, has decided to suspend its plans to exhibit the work of the acclaimed artist.

The British graffiti artist Banksy is still mostly unknown, but his artwork frequently addresses social and political themes, such as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

This 2003 painting in Jerusalem, Love Is In The Air, also known as Flower Thrower, was among Banksy’s first works of graffiti here. The stencilled artwork, which was painted soon after the West Bank Wall was built, depicts a young man leaning back and extending his arm in an aggressive gesture to throw something; instead of a bomb or grenade, the object is a bouquet, which stands for beauty and peace.