Greenbelt’s Just Peace campaign is designed to raise awareness of the issues involved in the Israel-Palestine conflict, and, in particular to highlight the oppression being suffered by the Palestinian people.
Greenbelt is partnering with Amos Trust to lead a visit to the Holy Land in May 2011, and I'll be joining the group with the aim of making a body of work responding to and communicating the stories of the people I meet during the trip.
It is impossible not to be curious about the area, and to ache when you hear the stories of the divisions, injustices and mistrust that exist in the Holy Land. Listening to talks at Greenbelt, especially during the past two years of the Just Peace campaign, has helped me to better understanding of the issues, however having the opportunity to visit the land, to hear the stories of Palestinians and Jewish Israelis who are struggling for peace and justice, will I am sure, make the issues more vivid.
Whilst travelling with the group I'll be making drawings, taking photos and creative notes from which I will make two bodies of work: This year is the third year of the Just Peace campaign, and as the creative director of the Greenbelt site decor team I'll be looking to produce elements to install at the festival that speaks of this issue. To have a real sense of the Land and the experience of people that call it home will be a great inspiration.
I also intend to produce a series of drawings and prints that could be combined with stories / poems / observations / snippets of conversation gathered by myself and other members of the travelling group with the view to making an exhibition or some sort of publication ready for Advent 2011.
The trip takes place at the end of May and we will be based in Bethlehem and Nazareth – with visits to Jerusalem, Hebron, Ramallah and Galilee. In addition to visiting historic and holy sites, each day will include time with Christian, Muslim and Jewish peace activists, academics and theologians. Organisations contributing to this trip include the Israeli Committee Against House Demolition (ICAHD), the Holy Land Trust, Sabeel and Breaking the Silence. There will also be time to meet and eat with local Palestinian communities, and opportunities to stop and reflect on the shores of Galilee and in the Judean desert.
I'm thrilled (and a little daunted) to have this opportunity, and look forward to the experiences it brings, and the inspiration it prompts.