A group of Palestinian youths in the West Bank formed an apolitical art group specialized in painting murals that aim to raise cultural and social awareness, and for free.
“On the wall” is a group of 22 members, seven females and 15 males, hailing from different disciplinary studies to include art majors as well as engineering and graphic design students.
Their main aim is to highlight issues that concern the Palestinian public through painting murals on the walls of schools and institutions, including concrete fences encircling undeveloped lands and empty lots.
The group coordinates with human and women rights associations through painting murals that deliver their ideas to the people. The group does not charge money for its artwork and only asks the institution that commissions the paintings to provide the required tools like paints and brushes.
“On the Wall” group works on Fridays when its members don’t have classes or are not working to pay their school tuition. The group also does not pledge allegiance to any political group and does not paint political issues whether related to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict or inter-Palestinian divisions.
The group only focuses on social and cultural issues that raise awareness among the people, said Heba Baghdadi, a student of contemporary art at the Ramallah-based International Academy of Art and a member of the group.
“We do not interfere in politics and we are not after material gain,” she told AlArabiya.net, summarizing the group’s mission statement.
Baghdadi said that the group is expected to grow in the future.
“We welcome all talented school and university students who are interested in mural painting.”
We welcome all talented school and university students who are interested in mural painting
On the Wall member Heba Baghdadi
Women rights mural
The latest of the group’s work was a mural painted under the auspices of the Palestinian Working Woman Society for Development (PWWSD), and aims to encouraging Palestinians to fight all sorts of discrimination against women.
The PWWSD mural, located on the main road to occupied Jerusalem, features an assortment of paintings that reflect the reality of Palestinian women without words so that viewers can take their time to reflect on the meaning of this artistic composition.
The mural aims to expose the several types of injustices to which women are subjected, said Areej Ghannam, a member of the group and the supervisor of the PWWSD mural.
“The mural shows the different forms of violence against the Palestinian woman, whether social, political or domestic,” she told AlArabiya.net. “We wanted to shed light on the rights of which she is deprived like getting an education, having a job, and choosing a husband.”
The mural, Ghannam added, is painted in a way that alerts viewers so a positive change can be initiated and women can be granted more rights.
“We want the Palestinian woman to get all the rights to which she is entitled by all international charters and human rights principles,” she concluded.
The painting of this mural coincides with the United Nations’ International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women which falls on November 25 of each year.
(Translated from Arabic by Sonia Farid).
The mural shows the different forms of violence against the Palestinian woman, whether social, political or domestic
On the Wall member Areej Ghannam