It’s curfew in Palestine. “The Army surrounds our neighbourhood. I sit on my bed writing a poem, the tank outside my window is probably reading this over my shoulder, I keep writing…” says a poet from Tulkarm.
For many, art was the only freedom of expression allowed, because art is safe, unarmed. But in January 2011, it was the artists, the writers, the musicians the comedians who walked into Tahreer Square and stood in the face of armed state police. Defenceless but for the conviction in their hearts. A conviction that said, unarmed but not powerless. Unarmed but not afraid. This was the conviction of artists, writers and musicians in Tunisia, Libya Yemen and Palestine who still sing in the face of dictators, occupation and bombardment. It was also the same conviction of Palestinian filmmaker and director of the Freedom Theatre Juliano Mer Khamis who walked into the Jenin refugee camp he called “the most attacked place in Palestine” every day to wipe away the fear in the eyes of 10 year old kids traumatized by the occupation.