Art And Culture

Ireland, Palestine Bond Through Art

Ireland, Palestine Bond Through ArtIreland, Palestine Bond Through Art

Marking the first anniversary of the 50-day devastating Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip, hundreds of international and Palestinian activists organized a four-day arts festival (July 8-11) to demonstrate firm solidarity and remind the world about the deadly aggression through art as a universal language.

The festival, in Ireland’s capital Dublin, marked a year since the Israeli raids on Gaza, that left 2,262 Palestinians dead, including 556 children and 305 women, and thousands more wounded and resulted in the damage and destruction of 140,000 houses, reports

PalFest Ireland is a voluntary arts festival featuring over 50 events organized by Irish artists in support of Palestine. The events include talks, music and theater performances, films, exhibitions, poetry and storytelling among other activities, covering the full spectrum of art forms in Dublin and throughout Ireland.

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The organizers said the festival promotes “a cultural connection between Ireland and Palestine and to raise awareness and much needed funds for Palestinian charities.” The festival “represents a resounding challenge from Ireland’s arts community to long-term Israeli aggression against Palestine.”

The festival opening highlighted the large death toll among Palestinian children in Gaza during the onslaught with the installation “NO MORE - Dublin Remembers.” It was organized by activists Miriam Duffy and Adrian Leake, who installed 556 vests on Sandymount Strand to represent all the children killed in Gaza in 2014.

Sara al-Bayyari, a 22-year-old Palestinian from Tulkram and born in Dublin, told the Palestinian news agency WAFA, “I think because art is universal, it is a language we all understand. It shows the humanity of Palestinians and how we have our own culture and art too and it keeps it alive.”

The program included “Incited in Israel, Inflicted on Gaza-Hate,” a talk by journalist David Sheen. Sheen in his talk tackled the racism inherent in the Israeli system of governance and how could 2,200 Palestinians be killed in 51 days last summer in Gaza with impunity by Israel? What is going on in Israel that creates an atmosphere where such a brutal attack on a people forbidden to leave can be inflicted? How can such a siege be visited on Gaza again and again, coupled with a crippling occupation of the whole of Palestine?

PalFest also features talks by two other prominent figures: Dr. Mads Gilbert, Norwegian surgeon who worked in Al Shifa Hospital during the Israeli onslaught, and Elaine Bradley, human rights activist.

Gilbert is scheduled to deliver a 90-minute talk about his experience, including the siege of Gaza. He will show footage taken during the onslaught as he recounts the harrowing events he witnessed while working in Gaza’s main hospital.


Bradley, representing the Dublin Food Cooperative Society, will tackle the impact of Israeli occupation on food production, farmers, fishermen and their families, and how a combination of attacks and administrative restrictions serve to further Israel’s colonial project.

The session will explore the creative ways that agricultural workers are resisting and the imperative need for the international community to stand with them in solidarity in their fight for their land and rights.

Music activities include a concert to be held by Liberty4Palestine on Saturday by Irish music group Kila, Palestinian singer Ruba Shamshoum together with Irish singers Honor Heffernan, Trevor Knight and Cormac Breathnach.

On the last day, an olive tree will be given to the new mayor of Ireland by a young Palestinian girl.