Wednesday, May 03, 2006
Seein' it differently
Get this; I was sitting on the couch doing some knitting. No laughing, men do that you know! Anyway, I was relaxing when I happened to spy over my shoulder about a little bit of controversy concerning Brandeis University.
It seems there is a free speech controversy brewing up in Boston, MA over the removal of an exhibition featuring the paintings of Palestinian youths.
The exhibit had 17 paintings depicted by the fledgling young artists’ perspectives on life under Israeli occupation. But I guess their depictions were too much for the administration of the university, because four days into the two-week run of the exhibit, officials at the university removed the paintings after several complaints from students.
A spokesperson for the prestigious university said that the school would consider re-mounting the paintings if they were to appear alongside paintings showing an Israeli perspective.
Brandeis. Oh poor naive Brandeis.
I’m sorry did I miss something here? It has been awhile since I last was in the Holy Land (a month ago to be exact), but I am fairly sure that when I was there, to the best of my knowledge, Israelis were not under occupation.
Yes I know what you are going to say; “The Israelis have suffered as a result of Palestinian violence.” You’re absolutely right, 100% correct, give that little Lady/Man a prize! The Israelis have suffered as a result of Palestinian violence. But the overwhelming majority of those who have been affected as a direct result of this nearly 40-year-old occupation are Palestinians. Let me say that again for those of you in the back row who are having trouble hearing me P-A-L-A-S-T-I-N-I-A-N-S.
As an artist myself (Filmmaker). I am truly amazed at how each and every one of us sees things in a different light when it comes to art.
Folk singer James Taylor has a song from one of his old albums called THERE AIN'T NO SONG. There is a verse that is very appropriate that you, the reader, might find intersting:
"Painters use their eyes
To show us what they see
But when that canvas dries
We all see it differently"
Art was once explained to me thusly: "Art is has the ability to get you to see the world in a way you would normally not see it." Sadly, several students and the administration of Brandeis were not to the task.
The curator of the exhibit, an Israeli Jewish student, Lior Halperin, who said she wanted to showcase a Palestinian perspective on campus said: “This was an opportunity to bring to Brandeis the Palestinian voice that is not spoken or heard through an Israeli or an American Jew, but directly delivered from Palestinians. Obviously that was just too much for Brandeis.”
Obviously it was, Lior.