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Vermont artist creates 45-foot ‘street comic’ telling story of the Nakba

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“Najawa: A Story of Palestine” is a 45-foot “street comic,” composed of eight large panels, which tells the story of a Palestinian woman’s life over the course of eight decades, beginning with the Nakba of 1948.  It was created by Vermont artist Michelle Sayles, in collaboration with artist and educator Jen Berger, and Vermonters for a Just Peace in Palestine/Israel.

This comic synthesizes oral history, documentary, and media accounts of life in occupied Palestine. Its first showing was in September, 2015, at the South End Art Hop in Burlington, Vermont.  This major arts festival that draws up to 30,000 people annually. It was later exhibited for several weeks at the Fletcher Free Public Library in Burlington, where it was warmly and enthusiastically received.

In addition to the video, you can view the individual panels of “Najawa” online at Red Wedge Magazine

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18 Responses

  1. RichardSpringer
    RichardSpringer
    May 14, 2016, 5:03 am

    A Story of Palestine” is a 45-foot “road comic,” made out of eight vast boards, which recounts the tale of a Palestinian lady’s life through the span of eight decades, starting with the Nakba of 1948.
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  2. Kay24
    Kay24
    May 14, 2016, 10:03 am

    Some people need visual aids to understand a situation. We need many of similar aids to get the truth out there in this nation, or else ignorance makes people like George Zimmerman’s brother make statements that reflect nothing but a closed ignorant mind , and parroting slogans by Israel.

    https://twitter.com/MaxBlumenthal

    I strongly feel more billboard with precise information will help spread the truth, since we cannot rely on the media to do their job.

  3. jon s
    jon s
    May 14, 2016, 5:12 pm

    “In 1947 the UN called for the division of Palestine into 2 states, one Jewish and one Arab. 750,000 Palestinians were forcefully displaced from their homes.”

    Hasn’t some information been left out by the creators of the street comic? A few things that slipped their minds? Like the fact that the Jewish side accepted the partition plan and the Arab side rejected it and sought to prevent its implementation by force of arms?

    • Qualtrough
      Qualtrough
      May 14, 2016, 11:02 pm

      jon s – Yes. The critical information left out of that passage was the fact that those 750,000 Palestinians were forbidden from ever returning to their homes. Thank you so much for pointing out that omission.

      • Citizen
        Citizen
        May 15, 2016, 3:36 am

        @ Qualtrough
        Yes, when ASAP return of the 750,000 was condition subsequent to UN recognition of Israel & seminal Balfour Declaration specified local Arab rights were to be fully honored. Technically, Israel never made itself legitimate as it never complied with its own promises.

      • MHughes976
        MHughes976
        May 15, 2016, 3:52 am

        Yes indeed – that act of exclusion was the truly defining act in the creation of Israel. It has been justified by attributing (of course!) anti–Semitic and genocidal intentions to those who became refugees, leading them to obey instructions to leave coming from Arab radio sources, though I think that all this has been extraordinarily hard to verify. There is something outrageous about treating the decision to leave a war zone as indication of an intention so evil that you get stripped of all your rights, and that by people sitting in judgement in their own cause and interests. Moreover, the whole between a normal home and a prison or a temporary residence is that you have the right to leave and return without explaining yourself or getting permission from higher authority. So many laws of Gid and humanity disregarded, so many glib and cruel words credited.

      • jon s
        jon s
        May 15, 2016, 6:27 am

        Qualtrough,
        That’s not the omission I was pointing out, but I agree that the critical development in this context , in 1948 ,was not the Palestinians leaving their homes (for various reasons) but the decision by the Israeli authorities not to allow them to return.

      • Brewer
        Brewer
        May 15, 2016, 6:14 pm

        jon s.

        Please point to the part of the partition plan that provides for the transfer of title to land from Palestinian owners to Zionist.
        Please explain how it came about that 250,000 Palestinians had been evicted before the proposed plan for partition was ratified (it never was), many of them before the plan was even proposed.
        Please explain the rights of Palestinians and their allies with regard to the plan. Was it within the United Nation’s Charter to forcefully impose partition if the proposal was rejected by one of the parties?
        Exactly what part of the plan was accepted by which Zionists? What sentient Palestinian could accept the proposal in the face of Irgun boss Begin’s statement: “The Partition of Palestine is illegal. It will never be recognized …. Jerusalem was and will for ever be our capital. Eretz Israel will be restored to the people of Israel. All of it. And for Ever.”

        Do you seriously maintain that Palestinian property and political rights were somehow nullified by their rejection of a plan (and it was only a plan, dependent on the agreement of all parties) when a major figure in the Zionist movement had expressed contempt for it and was actively engaged in massacre and mayhem? Surely to do so would be irrational would it not?
        But then, that the Palestinian people are irrational has been and remains the official Zionist position (they attack us because they hate), one that betrays the inherent racism and xenophobia at its heart.

    • talknic
      talknic
      May 15, 2016, 12:44 am

      @ jon s May 14, 2016, 5:12 pm

      “… the fact that the Jewish side accepted the partition plan and the Arab side rejected it and sought to prevent its implementation by force of arms?”

      Nonsense. Here’s the Arab states’ Declaration of war to the UNSC. http://mfa.gov.il/MFA/ForeignPolicy/MFADocuments/Yearbook1/Pages/5%20Arab%20League%20declaration%20on%20the%20invasion%20of%20Pales.aspx
      Even the Israeli Goverment lede at the top of the page says “Palestine”

      The Arab states’ declaration and actions were not condemned by the UNSC despite the fact that but for Jordan, they were all UN Member States at the time.

      Jewish forces were in territories not slated for or proclaimed as Israeli at the time Israel’s borders were proclaimed. The other regional Powers had a right to attempt to expel Israeli forces from whatever remained of Palestine after Israel proclaimed its borders.

      You need to study some history pal. Instead of spouting wholly holey Hasbara crapolla

      • Citizen
        Citizen
        May 15, 2016, 3:39 am

        @ talknic
        Yes, which is why 98% of the ’48 fighting between Zionists & Arab troops was on the Palestine side of the UN partition resolution line.

    • chocopie
      chocopie
      May 15, 2016, 12:25 pm

      Yeah, they left out the fact that Palestinians owned most of the land and were expected to turn it over to Jewish immigrants. They left out that the Palestinians had absolutely no voice in the UN’s give-away of their land. And they left out all the massacres committed by Jewish gangs and Israeli military against Palestinian villages. They left out a lot.

    • chocopie
      chocopie
      May 16, 2016, 2:03 pm

      Gee, I wonder why “the Jewish side” accepted the offer of a bunch of free land and “the Arab side” rejected giving away most of their land. Must be because “the Jewish side” is so reasonable and “the Arab side” is so selfish.

      Here’s an idea: Let’s do the same thing all over again but switch sides, and see who goes along with it this time.

      • eljay
        eljay
        May 16, 2016, 2:07 pm

        || chocopie: Gee, I wonder why “the Jewish side” accepted the offer of a bunch of free land and “the Arab side” rejected giving away most of their land. Must be because “the Jewish side” is so reasonable and “the Arab side” is so selfish. Here’s an idea: Let’s do the same thing all over again but switch sides, and see who goes along with it this time. ||

        The selfishness and unreasonableness of Zio-supremacists is evident every time they argue that Israel shouldn’t be required to relinquish control of and withdraw from all of the non-Israeli territory – territory outside of its / Partition borders – it has been stealing, occupying and colonizing since it was established almost 70 years ago.

  4. gamal
    gamal
    May 14, 2016, 6:14 pm

    “Like the fact that the Jewish side accepted the partition plan and the Arab side rejected it”

    Do you think you are addressing illiterates?

    • Citizen
      Citizen
      May 15, 2016, 4:02 am

      Key Root of ME unrest: Factual reality behind the UN vote for partition of Palestine: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2015/8/31/1415732/-Palestine-Israel-101-From-the-UN-vote-on-partition-to-Apartheid-today
      Now, only US remains obstructing UN justice.

    • jon s
      jon s
      May 15, 2016, 6:45 am

      gamal,
      Please point out what’s incorrect in that sentence.

    • John O
      John O
      May 15, 2016, 2:52 pm

      “Like the fact that the Jewish side accepted the partition plan and the Arab side rejected it”

      The British and French armies were routed by the Germans in 1940. The French accepted an armistice that left half their country occupied by a foreign power. Were they right to do so?

      The British refused to accept defeat and fought on. Were they wrong to do so?

      • straightline
        straightline
        May 15, 2016, 5:19 pm

        And thereby prove to the Palestinians that they indeed have no trustworthy partner for peace. The situation is a tad different. Israel willingly signed up to its borders and it was forced on the Palestinians. I guess the Palestinians have a perfect right by your logic to go on fighting until the last bit of historical Palestine is back in their hands. I think that you’re arguing that the German usurpers should be allowed to keep historical France.

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