Palestinian artist’s work to go on display in London after Channel 4’s Jon Snow smuggles it out of Gaza

Palestinian artist’s work to go on display in London after Channel 4’s Jon Snow smuggles it out of Gaza

Jon Snow

Work by a Palestinian artist is to go on display in London after her paintings were smuggled out of Gaza by Channel 4 news presenter Jon Snow.

Snow has made a series of visits to Gaza to report on life in the region blockaded by Israel. Last year talked about how it had affected him and implored viewers to act: “Together we can make a difference.”

He interviewed artist Majdal Nateel earlier this month and volunteered to take 399 of her paintings out of Gaza in his suitcase. They will form part of a London show in P21 Gallery called Gaza on Gaza, featuring work by Palestinians based in the region responding to last year’s conflict.

We were looking someone to carry it out and were worried that if we used a courier the Israelis would stop it,” said screenwriter Line Langebek, one of the show’s organisers. “Jon, who was out there, spontaneously offered to carry it. It’s fantastic to see them up on the wall in London now.”

Ms Langebek added: “Maybe it was a bit risky, as he was high profile, but luckily they did not look in his bag.

“He has been there before and did an impassioned piece last year during the bombardment, maybe that’s why he did it.”

Nateel, who has not able to get a permit to leave Gaza and attend the show in the Kings Cross gallery, has produced a series of works painted on pieces of cement bags.

Each bag had contained cement used to repair homes in which a child had died in last year’s bombardment. The paintings, done in the style of a child, depicted the “lost dreams of the children who died in the 2014 Gaza war”.

Ms Langebek added: “Maybe it was a bit risky, as he was high profile, but luckily they did not look in his bag.

“He has been there before and did an impassioned piece last year during the bombardment, maybe that’s why he did it.”

Snow was not available for comment.

Nateel, who has not able to get a permit to leave Gaza and attend the show in the Kings Cross gallery, has produced a series of works painted on pieces of cement bags.

Each bag had contained cement used to repair homes in which a child had died in last year’s bombardment. The paintings, done in the style of a child, depicted the “lost dreams of the children who died in the 2014 Gaza war”.

Her work was unveiled in Gaza earlier this month, the same evening that the campaigners were part of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Palestine in the House of Commons, which put one of her pieces on display.

The Gaza Strip blockade means Nateel, like many others, finds it difficult to get art supplies. “We have to depend on people who are travelling into Gaza for help,” she said.

The exhibition, which opens on 7 August, will feature creations by Palestinian teenagers drawn as part of a therapeutic project, as well as images by Mahmoud Alkord, Nidaa Badwan and Ahmed Salama. It will also include films by Dina Nasar, Yousef Nateel and Mohamed Jabaly.

This news item was first published on the Independent on Friday 31st July 2015. The art exhibition mentioned will be featured in the P21 Gallery.

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