A common space for harmonic peacemakers
PALESTINE RESISTS THROUGH THE EYES OF ARTIST SULEIMAN MANSOUR. He is one of the leading Palestinian artists born in the Palestinian village of Birzeit in 1947. He studied Fine Arts at the Bezalel Art Academy in Jerusalem. He is a co-founder of the Wasiti Art Center in Jerusalem (Now director of the Center). He is also a member of the “New Vision” artist group, which focuses on the use of local material in artwork. Mansour’s creativity and determination to revive Palestinian identity has led him through a diverse range of disciplines, including cartoon drawing and authoring two books on Palestinian folklore. He has had solo exhibitions in Ramallah, New York, Cairo, Gaza and Stavanger, Norway. In 1998 he won the ‘Nile award’ at the Cairo Biennial and the Palestine Prize for Visual arts.
Mansour first came to prominence for his surrealist masterpiece, Camels of Hardship in 1973. The Dali-esque image @ 3:52 of a Palestinian peasant struggling under the literal weight of dispossession has become a classic of its kind, and became the launch pad for a career that would be defined by original approaches to representing the struggle for his homeland.
Identified as a subversive by Israeli security forces, Mansour was plagued with harassment. In 1981 at Gallery79 (during the Intifada), an exhibition was closed after only six hours and he was arrested. “They told us we are not allowed to use red, green, black, and white in our works,” he recounted in a later interview. Such treatment was to be a recurring theme of a career that was regularly interrupted with jail time.