Learning & Creative Engagement

Voices from Palestine

We have been watching the recent events in Gaza, outraged and with deep sadness.

As a team, we have also been discovering more work from some extraordinary Palestinian artists, both past and present, as a way of understanding the rich creative culture that is under attack.

We want to use our platform to celebrate and share some of them with you.

We will share one post a week across our social media channels, and update this page on our website every week with the artists we spotlight.

Mahmoud Darwish (1941 - 2008)

Considered by many to be Palestine’s National Poet, the work we’ve selected is I Have a Seat in the Abandoned Theater.

Read I Have a Seat in the Abandoned Theater

English translation by Fady Joudah

Mohammed Alhaj

From abstract portraits to expressive pieces and Pop Art, Mohammed Alhaj is a visual artist who has continued to make work in Gaza while the strip has been under attack.

The two paintings we’ve selected are Displacement and bird.

View more of Mohammed’s work

West-Eastern Divan Orchestra

Founded by Daniel Barenboim and Edward W. Said, the orchestra aims to promote equality, harmony and understanding between musicians, against the backdrop of conflict.

Listen to Beethoven – Symphony No. 9 here

Free Gaza Circus Center

Born in 2018 from the vision of young circus acrobats and activists in Gaza, this group aims to spread circus culture through lessons and workshops, weaving joy, hope and happiness, and creating a safe space for young people to thrive.

Find out more about Free Gaza Circus Center

Images from Free Gaza Circus Center Facebook page.

Taha Muhammad Ali (1931-2011)

Poet and short-story writer, Taha Muhammad Ali’s writing intricately weaves together the personal and political.

We have selected the poem, Revenge.

Read Revenge

Revenge by Taha Muhammad Ali is from the Collection, Hymns & Qualms: New and Selected Poems and Translations, by Peter Cole.

Amer Hlehel

Actor, playwright and director, Amer Hlehel is a co-founder of several independent initiatives in Palestine, including The Freedom Theatre. Amer wrote the one-person play, Taha based on the life of Taha Muhammad Ali which played at the Young Vic in 2017 as part of Shubbak Festival.

The play was published in Hebrew in 2023 as part of The Maktoob مكتوب series by The Van Leer Jerusalem Institute. The series spotlights contemporary Arabic literature and is the only project in Israel today that translates works of Arabic culture and literature into Hebrew.

The project is the initiative of translators and scholars of Arabic headed by the late author Salman Natur and Prof. Yehouda Shenhav-Shahrabani.

Find out more about Amer Hlehel

Find out more about The Maktoob مكتوب series

Taha by Amer Hlehel (2023) is published by The Van Leer Jerusalem Institute and Dar Layla publishing and translation.

Nidaa Badwan

Artist Nidaa Badwan crafted a photographic series, ‘100 Days of Solitude’ within the confines of her 100-square-foot room in Gaza. From 2013 over 20 months, she transformed her space into a sanctuary and studio, creating drawings, textiles and vibrant self-portraits. Despite her isolation, Badwan found community through social media, sharing her quietly defiant images with the world. 

The two photographs we have selected are ‘100 Days of Solitude; Code 4’ and ‘100 Days of Solitude; Code 21’.

Find out more about ‘100 Days of Solitude’