California pays homage to the Palestinian people

An incredible project is about to be unveiled in Oakland, California.

Presented by Art Forces, the Estria Foundation and NorCal Friends of Sabeel, the Oakland Palestine Solidarity Mural is a monumental work of public art located in Uptown Oakland on 26th Street between Telegraph and Broadway. The mural pays homage to the history of Bay Area public art and expresses solidarity with Palestinians as bombs continue to fall on Gaza.

The Oakland Palestine Solidarity Mural adopts the image of the tree as a central motif and global visual signifier to link seemingly disparate issues and distant locations. Spanning 157 feet and reaching 22 feet high, the mural is comprised of nine separate panels, where each artist or team of artists has painted his or her own interpretation of a tree to address social and political issues.

These issues include the shared histories of colonization, environmental exploitation, internal exile of indigenous peoples, resilience and resistance to these injustices. The mural dedication will be held on 10 August 2014 during 1:00-4:00 P.M. and is free and open to the public. The dedication will include poetry, music, traditional Palestinian dance, local stiltwalkers from LocoBloco and an art exhibit “From Gaza to Oakland”.

This exhibition includes artwork from Gaza artists and photo-journalists responding to the recent assault; historical photos of the expulsion of Palestinians from what is now called Israel; print portfolios from Middle East Children’s Alliance and work by muralists and friends of Oakland Palestine Solidarity Mural.

This exhibition will open in conjunction with the mural unveiling on 10 August and will run until 30 September 2014.

The 12 participating artists come from a wide array of backgrounds, ethnicities and cultures. They include

  • Dina Matar, who is participating virtually (Gaza)
  • IROT (Native American)
  • VYAL (Chicano-Native American)
  • Deadeyes (African American)
  • Erin Yoshi (Japanese American)
  • Susan Greene (Jewish American)
  • Emory Douglas (African American)
  • Nidal El Khairy (Palestinian)
  • Chris Gazaleh (Palestinian American)
  • SPIE (Asian American)
  • Fred Alvarado (Latino American)
  • Miguel Bounce Perez (Chicano-Pacific Islander American).
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