Gallery 4: International Solidarity with Palestine
International poster art in solidarity with the national liberation movement of Palestine is a relatively recent phenomenon. Few examples exist that were created prior to 1968. Yet in the intervening thirty-five years, a heartbeat in terms of aesthetic and stylistic maturation, it has emerged as the world’s only truly global political poster art genre.
It is also the only major political poster art genre to endure into the twenty-first century; the other powerhouses of twentieth century solidarity poster art — the Soviet Union, revolutionary Cuba and the Eastern Bloc countries — have all faded from the scene and their posters have become artifacts. Moreover, it is also the only revolutionary poster art form to make the transition to the Internet.
From a society that did not even have a graphic arts tradition prior to WW I, Palestine has been catapulted into the vanguard of modern political iconography by virtue of the fact that artists around the world, many of them famous in their own right, such as Raphael Enriquez of Cuba and Thomas Kruse of Denmark, have created posters in solidarity with Palestine.
Two other unique features of this kaleidoscopic and still-evolving art form help explain its complexity: (1) artists from around the world continuously create posters in solidarity with Palestine, spontaneously and without direction or instruction; and (2) the Palestinians both as a people and as a liberation movement readily incorporate these internationally-generated graphics, symbols, pallets, styles, and interpretations of their revolution into their own visual culture. The Palestinians embrace even Israeli poster art done in solidarity with Palestine. No other political revolutionary movement has ever been as open, and as welcoming, to international artists as that of contemporary Palestine.
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