Artistes show solidarity with Palestinians

A conceptual artist Thursday smashed watermelons and took out olives from each. The olives represented Gaza’s main crop while the performance narrated Israel’s “ruthless attitude” in Gaza in a conflict that has killed around 1,300 Palestinians.

The performance was part of an event “Artist Action for Gaza”, organised by the Safdar Hashmi Memorial Trust (Sahmat), where artistes, performers and singers came together to show their support for the people of Gaza.

“The idea of distributing olives was to inform people how Israel is cutting these olive trees to encroach into Gaza,” Sahmat co-founder Ram Rahman told IANS.

This was evident with grim photographs of dead children, mourning mothers and destroyed buildings that were pasted in and around the walls of the Sahmat office.

The idea was to highlight the sufferings of civilians and Israel’s encroachment in the thin Gaza Strip.

Along with this, scarves were seen hanging from trees and everyone attending the event was requested to pose with a placard that read: “Gaza, in solidarity Artist Action”.

“The idea was to click pictures of all the people supporting this cause and put them online. They will reach out to people from all around the world and they can be the face of our protest,” Rahman said.

Also giving him company was veteran theatre director M.K. Raina, who said this initiative was an attempt for people to stand together and protest against “inhuman atrocities”.

“If the Indian state is not voicing its stance over the issue, we (artistes) are doing it. Artistes have always found different ways of expressing their angst over these genocides,” Raina said.

Despite a brief spell of rain that delayed the proceedings a bit, songs, poetry recitals and performances kept people busy, who braved the rain and traffic to show they care.