As Israel continues its illegal land grab of Palestinian territory, by caging in the West Bank, the controversial barrier wall has become more than just oppressive concrete slabs to some; it’s become an easel for various artists. Two Palestinians have come together to put a new spin on rendering the wall into an art form, by starting an organization called send.a.message, whereby you can pay them (online) to spray paint whatever message you want on the wall. It’s only $45 (JD32) and it goes towards supporting micro-projects for all the Palestinian businesses hurt by the wall, mostly in Ramallah where their first partner-projects are.
The idea is simply stellar and I’ve already placed an order for a message. It’s indicative of how in even the most oppressive conditions, ingenuity can be a savior. It’s also interesting to note that this whole concept of non-resistance is in actuality, a merging of both the virtual and real worlds. Think about it. The project itself is based on a website, where digital words are translated to actual words on a real wall, then transfered back in the form of a digital picture.
Moreover, the project depends mostly on word-of-net; or in other words, just how much coverage they get in new media, be it in the form of Facebook, blogs, or even text-messaging. It’s a really interesting case study for students of new media who have a political itch to scratch.
So blog this, trackback this, link this, digg this, bookmark this, spread this; do what you can.
Other Wall Taggers:
– Roger Waters
I thought Dutch and Danish are different no?
One refers to the Netherlands and one to Denmark. Correct me if I am wrong.
(( not that I am pro boycotting – it’s just a thought )) :p
Bilal, oops, thanks for the catch. that was some kind of left-brain hip check 😀
I know some Israeli graffiti artists, I’ll send this to them as well they’re really creative.
and they are anti-Israeli (3ashan el kol ma yno6 3alai)
I don’t like the idea. the messages showcased so far are far from ‘art.’ They also lack meaning…why should a Palestinian care if Jack and Jill will be together forever? Perhaps they need to be a bit more selective when choosing to spray paint messages on something that should not have been there to begin with. I actually do not like the use of the Separation Wall to showcase any type of work … beautifying apartheid?! … though I do admit, Art by Banksy, Reyes, etc has a stronger more resonant message …
The only thing I like about this project is the funds generated going “towards supporting micro-projects for all the Palestinian businesses hurt by the wall.”
Iman: thanks anyway
I love the idea! Now I just have to find something creative to send them…
I agree a bit with Iman in terms of the contents of the messages showcased – I think they need to be more relevant to the context they’re shown in. BUT, don’t forget these folks paid money to get their messages through – money that helps the Palestinians in the end. Although I remember reading this somewhere (I think on Banksy’s site) – that an old Palestinian man rebuked one of the artists trying to ‘beautify’ the wall saying, ‘Don’t make it beautiful. It’s not beautiful and we don’t want it to seem beautiful’. It just goes against everything that it stands for. I don’t know, I’m still wrestling with this idea.
One thing’s for sure, parts of that wall (which will fall) will stand in a museum one day. InshAllah.
Nas, again, many thanks for writing about this. It’s highly impressive, mixing creativity, technology, and a decent cause to help ease the suffering of people is just amazing.
Only problem is that I’ve been having problems accessing “AquaCool”, it’s running online fine, but can’t write or do anything. MMM is looking into the problem, until it’s solved and I can blog about it, I’ll make sure to email your post link to all interested people I know.
Again many thanks!
Eman, sorry to hear that! I’m sure MMM will get it working soon though. best of luck 🙂
i blogged about it a few months ago and i even got a reply from one of the project founders oh wow im so special sa7 lol
anyway while i definitely think that iman makes a good point, there is a silver lining which is that most of the money they make off the project goes to palestinian ngos
I’m blogging this…Eman has a point, but when you see it right in front of you, anything in opposition to it would mean the world!
mo: good stuff!
rania: i agree!
stop the damn wall earth!!! what we wants more than wat we already have of massacre and killing of our brothers!! a wall that will keep the killing on but this time behind the walls!!
my name is Faris Arouri, and i’m the chairman of the Peace & Freedom Youth Forum – PFF, which is the Palestinian partner in this project.
Thank you all for your interest, comments, and discussion. since constructive discussion is one of the most progressive behaviours. I just want to clarify a couple of things – if you allow me:
1. we’re not beautifying the wall in any way, and don’t intend to. this ugly concrete monster will be as ugly as it is, but with some words sprayed here and there. We don’t do any drawings (except is a few rare cases), and thus its just rough words in a rough texture, sprayed on this rough ugly wall.
2. the isssue of raising funds through the project came through our dutch partners, since they insisted on it, and thought it would make the project more attractive, and self-dependant, as well as financing other micro-social projects in palestine. and here, i need to correct that the projects won’t directly support businesses, actually we’re aiming at financing small and micro projects addressing neglected social groups in medium sized and small towns, and thus our projects won’t be in Ramallah, since Ramallah is a big city.
3. all activists working on this project – just like other PFF projects – are volunteers, and the only costs covered are those of transportation and spray paint.
4. the main aim behind the project wasn’t and isn’t the money – as mentioned above – the main goal is raising international public awareness for the issue of the wall in an alternative way. we’re targeting the western masses who are not very much into international politics or foreign affairs, and thus we’re getting into those houses through personal messages. and i believe we’re succeeding. we’re close to a 100,000 visitors in less than 4 months, which is quite impressive for a project that started from scratch, and on volunteer basis.
in other words, we resist but in a different alternative way…
anyways, i hope i’ve answered some of the questions you had in mind, especially Iman, who contacted me and thats how i got to know about this page. yet, for more information, you’re invited to checkoout the project’s website: http://www.sendamessage.nl and i would be really glad to answer your questions directly through my email email@example.com
Best Wishes to you all
check this video out….
Faris Arouri: thanks for the comment and all the clarifications I think a lot of people needed to know. and as a friend of mine would say: keep on keeping on! 🙂
hi fares im from tunisia and i’m intersted in your secondry name please contact me my number phone is+21624269975