Browse Galleries:
Browse Posters: previous | next

General Union of Palestinian Women
Artist: Marc Rudin (Switzerland)
Dimensions: 18.5” x 26”

The central graphic element of this poster a woman with her arms raised in a stance of both defiance, represented by clenched fists, and liberation, represented by the broken shackles. The bright red, orange, and white semi-circles behind the woman represent a rising sun, emblemizing the struggle for women’s liberation as one motivated by hope and optimism.

This poster was created for the delegation of the General Union of Palestinian Women (GUPW) to the 1980 World Conference of the United Nations Decade for Women, held in Copenhagen, Denmark.

The face of the woman in this poster is presented in a cubist perspective, that is to say, both frontally and in profile, as a way of expressing the multiple challenges facing contemporary Palestinian women. In addition, the woman wears a kaffiyeh (Arabic: headdress) traditionally considered a man’s garment; this suggests that Palestinian women see their movement not merely in terms of a political struggle for national self-determination but also as an inward-looking movement to challenge long-standing social and cultural limitations on women.


Significantly the shackles, though broken, are still in place on the woman’s wrist representing the fact that the struggle for women’s liberation has only begun.

The artist who created this poster, Marc Rudin, studied graphic design at the Professional School for Applied Art in Bern. Working under the nom de guerre Jihad Mansour, he lived for eleven years (1980-1991) in the Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon and Syria. During that time he produced some 200 posters on a wide range of domestic and international issues, working alongside Palestinian artists in the information bureau of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP). Rudin, who currently lives in Zurich, is an honorary member of the General Union of Palestinian Artists (GUPA).

Rudin brought a sophisticated European understanding of modern graphic design, typography, and style to bear in his Palestinian solidarity posters. He consciously endeavored to simplify complex historical and political issues through the use of internationally recognizable iconography. His thorough grasp of visual communication processes, as well as his uniform inclusion of multiple language fonts, helps explain why the PFLP’s posters are comprehensible both to Arabic-speaking populations as well as far-flung international audiences.

Related Works

Ninth Commemoration of Comrade Ghassan’s Martyrdom

© 2003 Liberation Graphics. All Rights Reserved.



Questions for A New Democratic Discussion

1) What is the status of women in societies in the Middle East? How do Palestinian women fare compared to other women in the region?

2) What role do Israeli women have in the struggle of Palestinian women for liberation and self-determination? Consider for example Women in Black, an international peace network that first emerged in 1988 when Israeli women protested their country’s occupation of the West Bank and Gaza.

3) Has the women’s rights movement in the U.S. ever consciously reached out to the women of the Arab world? If yes, when? If no, why not?

4) Does the U.S. government, through its various international development programs, address any of the most pressing issues related to Palestinian and Arab women? If yes, how? If no, why not?

5) Does the Bush administration’s “road map” for Middle East peace make any provisions for a meaningful role for Palestinian women in the democracy-building process?




Please send us your questions and comments (English only please!)