This poster was created in conjunction with the United Nation’s 1979 International Year of the Child. Home is a storyboard poster version of a small booklet by the same name that was printed in Russian, Italian, Arabic, English and many other languages.
It is different, importantly, from another poster in this exhibit titled She, which was also created in the same year, by the same publisher, for the same theme. Whereas She dealt with the core issue of identity, Home is an age-appropriate history lesson that brackets the loss of home as a cause, and armed struggle to reclaim it, as its effect.
In this poster, the first several frames are dedicated to establishing that a safe, secure home is the birthright of every living creature, even wild and domesticated animals (translated from Italian):
The chicken has a home.
The rabbit has a home.
The horse has a home.
Even the fish have a home.
The cat roams around day and night.
The bird has a home in the trees.
Everyone needs a home.
Then the authors lay out the central tragedy of the Palestinians:
Today, the Palestinians do not have a home.
The house and the place where the Palestinians live is not their home.
Where is the home of the Palestinians?
The enemies of the Palestinians have occupied their homes.
How are the Palestinians going to retake their homes?
The Palestinians will fight an armed struggle to take back their homes.
Someday the Palestinians will return to live in their own homes.
The loss of the Palestinians’ home is not depicted as the result of some natural disaster or voluntary migration. Rather, it is graphically indicated as the result of an invasion. The Magen David (Hebrew: Star of David) on the side of the tank clearly, though subtly, identifies the enemy as Israel.
According to Palestinians, this poster is both historically and politically accurate. They see it as entirely appropriate both in terms of its pedagogy and it is cultural content.
Home might raise concerns among children’s advocates in the West because it appears to be attempting to inculcate young minds with a militant attitude. Palestinians would respond by saying that this poster represents a true telling of the origins of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and that it would be a disservice to Palestinian children not to explain their history to them.
Both She and Home are perhaps most remarkable because they prove that it is possible to get to the nub of even the most complex and baffling questions related to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict using nothing more than pictures and vocabulary suitable for elementary school children.© 2003 Liberation Graphics. All Rights Reserved.
Questions for A New
1) Home is obviously a simplified version of the origins of Palestinian resistance to Israel. Simplification is a legitimate feature of children’s literature and art. Distortion, however, is not. Is the story line essentially accurate or is it a distortion of history?
2) Is there an Israeli children’s poster that tells the story of how modern Israel came to be?
3) How is Palestinian history taught to Israeli children? What stories do they use?
4) How would one design a children’s poster that told both the story of the Jewish Diaspora and the dispossession of the Palestinians?
Please send us your questions and comments (English only please!)
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