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‘I am an Arab’ t-shirt
قميص "سجِّل أنا عربي"
Crossing an Israeli checkpoint, every Palestinian has to present a magnetic card containing personal information, fingerprints and an iris scan. When passing through these barriers they have to put their fingers on a scanner, revealing to the soldiers their entire story. For the designers of this t-shirt, this evokes the lines of the renowned Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish in his poem ‘ID card’: “Write this down: I am an Arab, and my ID card is number 50,000; I have eight children, and the ninth is coming after the summer…”
The fingerprint designed for the ‘I am an Arab’ t-shirt is calligraphed from this poem. Look closer and you can see that what seems to be a fingerprint is actually much more. The design is an invitation for the world to look closely at this story and to not judge anything from afar, as nothing is what it might seem.
- Further reading:
- Read Mahmoud Darwish’s poem ‘ID card’ [World Association of Arab Translators and Linguists]
- The coloured-coded Israeli ID system for Palestinians [Al-Jazeera]
- Nadya Hazbunova (PS)
As a half Palestinian half Czech designer, I always saw my point of view in design of taking the traditional Palestinian heritage and presenting it in a new “European” way. My aesthetic has always driven me to plunge into designs incorporating symbols typical of Palestine or calligraphy. When I was invited to take part on this project I had no idea what I was going to do, and I enjoyed brainstorming and hanging out with the various designers; seeing my native city Bethlehem through their eyes. My biggest realization was that as much as I looked through my European part upon my Palestinian heritage and surrounding I would never be able to see what they saw —despite the fact that I lived abroad for more than 10 years. This realization drove me to design what I call the “identity collection” or series, which start from a finger print telling the story of each Palestinian carrying a hawwyieh (Palestinian ID card) having to pass the checkpoint, to olive wood heel platform sandals decorated with the Palestinian kuffiyeh, and beautiful colorful happy mosaic and clay map of Palestine rings. All in referral to how this journey helped me realize that I will always see Palestine, and always refer to it in my work, through my Palestinian eyes, because that is who I am, that is my identity. I am very grateful for all the people whom I met throughout this journey, many have been so helpful and patient with me and taught me new things, which helped my ideas and work come to life. Some of the artisans were a revelation to me, as I stumbled upon them like upon a treasure chest in a desert. I was so inspired by the many personalities and stories I have encountered in those short two weeks, and I loved every bit of it. The workshop has inspired me to do so much more and work with new materials, as well as taken me to far away cities in Palestine like Qalqilya and Tulkarem —which are hard for me to reach otherwise. I hope this project will bring a lot of opportunities to the local artisans we worked with, as they work hard every day and are undervalued. I am stunned at their craftsmanship and modesty and hope that this is only the beginning of a great revolution on the local handmade goods market!
- Jaroslav Toussaint (DE)
Jaroslav Toussaint is a German typo and graphic designer based in Amsterdam, who studied at the Sandberg Instituut Amsterdam (Masters Rietveld Academie).
MAJNÅ¨NA IN WONDERLAND
Our second day in Palestine, started on the first day of October. The night before, the white rabbit had lead us save and in time through its hole and nobody of us could really believe that we have had no problems with the Queen of Hearts and her guards; that we were finally here, in miraculous Ramallah. The evening lead us into the workshop of the rabbits old friend, the crazy cobbler whose favourite time of the day had just begun, the night. Our party member Majnuna, skilled in all kinds of crafts and arts, found herself in Wonderland, tried all his machines and agreed on becoming the cobblers apprentice. But no night shall pass without the celebration of our non-birthday, and so our glasses were filled with a white liquid called Arak, which is not Raki, nor it is Ouzo —no matter what the bottle says. The glasses where wicked too and filled themselves each time we tried to empty them. The Rabbits and Cobblers old friend, the March Hare, joined our party and the night went on with talks about pleasures and inconveniences, the Queen of hearts and her guards, about the amazing creatures of Wonderland and their ability to make so much good out of so much nothing. Finally we were brought to our hotel by the crazy cobbler on his flying carpet. Waking up after a short sleep which had given our livers too little time to digest the «don’t-call-it-Ouzo» we hurried on to our base for the next 10 days, where this very famous guy was born about 2000 years ago; who had a long beard, many followers and could turn water into wine. There, in the city of eternal Christmas, we were introduced to our new friends, inhabitants of Wonderland, skilled craftsmen and -women of whom we were going to learn so much. Writing this in retrospect is a matter of great difficulties. Here in Wonderland things are different than they appear. Weeks, especially the last not yet two, can feel like months or years. The ones who seem defeated can be more free than their conquerors. To reach the place across the street, only some meters away, can be a journey of years. We learned a lot, especially to open our eyes and listen and not to rely on the knowledge we brought with us in our baggage. We smoked the Argeelah with the local caterpillars which will certainly turn into butterflies some day. We made friends in Wonderland and once we are back home we will see things a little bit with their eyes and we will wonder and tell about Wonderland.
- Diala Isid (PS)
Diala Isid is a Palestinian architect from Bethlehem, based in Ramallah.
- Al-Arja Textile (PS)
Al-Arja Textile is a reputable unique leading company in the textile industry in Palestine, based in Beit Jala.
Silkscreen on Cotton
Kids 108, Kids 116, S, M, L, XL
€17,00 – €19,00