In Bethlehem a group of artists founded an organization, Dar Jacir, which set out to support artists in Palestine and beyond. Dar Jacir is a an art and research centre that’s currently grabbling with the fallout of the latest bombings by Israel in the last few months. Despite the damage done, the organization is still set on supporting artists express themselves and their frustrations in a creative way. No matter how much conflict there is, artists will find a way!
What Dar Jacir is doing is incredibly important. Itâ€™s so hard to have a space like this, especially in Bethlehem, where itâ€™s right next to the Israeli wall. Itâ€™s trying to create something in a place you know is going to be bombarded over and over again. Conceptually, itâ€™s an act of resistance â€“ now, more than ever, when Bethlehem finds itself completely isolated because of the wall and the increasing settlements around the city. Itâ€™s very difficult to go to Ramallah, which used to be a 40 minutesâ€™ drive. Now, it takes two hours â€“ sometimes more, with all the checkpoints.
The nice thing about art institutions is that theyâ€™re a bit subversive in that sense. They can host artists from other places, even places that the country is officially at war with. It helps make a link between what is going on in Lebanon and Syria and Palestine. Itâ€™s something that is very important for our unity and for resisting the colonial structures that weâ€™re fighting against.