Palestinian artist paints 1400 ‘White Phosphorus’ works of art
By Iqbal Tamimi
‘White Phosphorus on the birth anniversary of Ailia’a’
As many Palestinian artists who were deeply in love with life that they created new heartbeats out of the shadows of death, Palestinian artist Maysara Barood held his latest exhibition in Gaza entitled (White Phosphorus on the birth anniversary of Ailia’a). Ailia’a is the ancient name of Alquds or Jerusalem and also is the name of his son.
The exhibition was held at Rashad El-Shawa Centre in Gaza, where 1400 paintings in white and black were exhibited hanging free like the phantoms of all the people who were the victims of the last Israeli aggression on Gaza.
The number of paintings was the same number of the innocent people who were killed by the Israeli offensive on Gaza last year, the attack that left many children disabled, badly burned and disfigured by the white phosphorus bombs used by the Israeli army.
Barood commemorated each killed victim by a painting, the faces he drew of the victims where aligned vertically hanging from the ceilings free like souls screaming from heaven ‘why me?’ The paintings are telling a story of pain, war, devastation, and the cruelty of the Israeli attack on a defenceless people.
This savage offensive by Israel was different of any of its previous attacks. Israel has been experimenting at each attack with new created arms and tools of torture, this time Israel chosen to experiment burning people alive, using the internationally banned white phosphorus. This same burning material was the subject of his paintings that were executed in white and black.
Barood said: “The idea of this exhibition is based on the wars around the world, especially in 2009 where the world has witnessed many aggressive attacks on Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Darfur, Georgia … But the main event was the Israeli attack on Gaza in the ‘Cast Lead’ operation in 2009 which was most severe that I had to create 1400 works of art in black ink on white paper, recording the number of martyrs, inspired by the random attack by the war machine, the destruction and violence of the occupation and oppression, especially the phosphorus bombs used during the attack that burned people beyond recognition.”