21 September 2014

Gaza's children paint a grim future

Middle East Eye

In the wake of Operation Protective Edge, Israel’s latest onslaught on the Gaza Strip, I acquired a series of photographs of drawings by children in the town of Khuza’a in southern Gaza.
Khuza’a had played unwilling host to one of the Israeli army’s many attempts to outdo itself in terms of brutality, with success measurable, perhaps, in the amount of rubble and massacred bodies left behind. The photographs were passed along to me by the Barcelona-based psychoanalyst Lluis Isern, whose colleague in Gaza had sent them to him.
The drawings share many of the features of typical children’s artwork: house, sun, clouds, grass. The scenic similarities come to an abrupt end, however, when one’s eye starts to register additional elements of the landscape -  tanks, missiles, fighter jets, and bulldozers.
In a drawing titled Aggression against Palestine,  a child has drawn an orange, red, blue, and brown house with five similarly multicoloured people standing outside smiling. Two are holding hands. Above them, four projectiles from a green aircraft descend toward the group, while three from a different aircraft head for the house.
Another depicts a variety of tanks, planes, and guns, interspersed with lines of text such as “Gaza will be victorious”, “Palestine resists”, and a tribute to the al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas.
Obviously, the prominence of the house in children’s pictures across the globe reflects the centrality of the home to a child’s universe. So imagine the mental upheaval that ensues when one’s universe comes under regular attack by the Israeli military - or is destroyed altogether. READ MORE AT MIDDLE EAST EYE.