A cartoon exhibition that aimed to show the realities confronted by Palestinians subjected to military occupation and siege, their resistance and determination as seen through the eyes of renowned cartoonist, Osama Nazzal was hosted on Thursday 30 August at the Silver Oaks Boutique Hotel. Osama who lives in the village of Kafr Ni’ma, west of Ramallah is currently on tour to South Africa and was eager to connect with South African audiences and to promote solidarity with his beloved homeland.
The intimate venue provided a perfect backdrop for engagement, connection with acclaimed Durban political cartoonist, Dr Nanda Sooben and ‘animated’ discussion on the role of artists and cultural resistance. Osama, who is the chairperson of the Palestinian Association of Contemporary Art, believes that there are few art forms that are more effective than cartoons and caricatures to comment on human rights abuses and political oppression. Freedom of expression is a crucial issue as censorship and attacks on journalists, activists and artists are growing in Palestine and many, like Osama himself, are subjected to repeated arrests, harassment, destruction of not only their artwork and materials but the art studios too. He was arrested in 2005 and sentenced to six and a half years in Israeli prisons.
Nadia Meer – 2SunsShamsaan