When we think about Gaza in the States it’s usually in terms of conflict and war. But like a flower pushing through the cracks in the pavement, or any other number of cliches that aren’t coming to me at the moment, sometimes beauty pushes through in unlikely places. That’s the message captured in this video “Not a Dreamland” by Anne Paq/ActiveStillsvia via The Electronic Intifida.
This short, produced by ActiveStills, features both established artists and performers such as the hip-hop group Palestinian Unit, unconventional filmmaker brothers Arab and Tarzan, painters from the art collective iltika, break dancers from Camps Breakerz as well as less-known youth who experiment with parkour, beat box, break dancing and roller skating. Interview extracts and striking images give context to the conditions under which these artists create, giving vivid insight into a vibrant side of Gaza that is rarely shown.
“Normally people don’t think about art, because we have many problems in Gaza,” explains one of the artists. “Nobody cares, because people care about how to make a life,” says another.
“You cannot just live in a hell and accept it. You have to struggle to survive and fight, to look for a better future.”