Palestinian Contemporary Artists: Dina Matar & Rana Bishara

The Lover
Her eyes and the tattoo on her hands are Palestinian,
Her name, Palestinian,
Her dreams and sorrow, Palestinian,
Her kerchief, her feet and body, Palestinian,
Her words and her silence, Palestinian,
Her voice, Palestinian,
Her birth and her death, Palestinian.
-Mahmoud Darwish

Born in 1985, Dina Matar is a Gazan artist living in the Bureji refugee camp . She received her degree in Educational Art from Al Aqsa University, Gaza, 2007.

Rana Bishara

Much of Rana Bishara's art is created through constructions of found objects. It is difficult to capture the scale and texture of her pieces on a computer screen, but here is a detail from one piece that I find especially beautiful:

Untitled, 1999, cactus basket & moss

One of Bishara's major series utilizes cactus. She explained its importance saying: "Cactus became a symbol of the 'Nakbe' (Palestinian tragedy of 1948) because it has tenacious roots and grows wherever you throw it; and that is what Palestinians do out of necessity. In Arabic cactus is called 'saber' which is also the word for patience. And since Palestinians use patience a lot as a weapon of hope for the future. Cactus has become a symbol of resistance. It is also a symbol of the heroism and tenacity of villagers who were violently evicted from Palestine by Israelis in 1948. Since traditionally cactus is a protective fence, when in 1948 Israelis demolished and bulldozed our villages, the cactus would grow again and etch out the boundaries of family homes and plots revealing Israeli crime in graphic outline.

Palestinian Contemporary Art Sites:

Eltiqa Group for Contemporary Art

Occupied Space: Art for Palestine

Made in Palestine

Poets for Palestine

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