I am thrilled to be in Johannesburg to attend the inaugural Human Rights Festival being held at Constitution Hill, the site of the main complex of apartheid jails where the famous inmates include Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela.
Photo Exhibition: Resistance and children’s active participation in the weekly protests in Nabi Saleh, with special focus on Ahed Tamimi.
The exhibition forms part of a broad national campaign to educate and promote awareness amongst South Africans on the gross violations of Palestinian children’s rights. South African collaborative initiative Shamsaan, meaning 2 Suns in Arabic has been documenting the life stories and undertaken art therapy workshops that culminated in the development of a children’s art calendar. Among the children featured, is Ahed Tamimi, who is currently being detained by Israel. A campaign to Free Ahed Tamimi and All Child Prisoners serves as an ideal platform to lead audiences through a visual journey.
Curated by Nadia Meer, images of Ahed’s participation in protest action from a young age reveals her role in the active resistance. The realities of what the occupation means, in tangible terms, is clearly understood to an international audience, although far removed geographically, all immediate connect with the issue.
Ahed Tamimi is a 17 year old Palestinian teen from the village of Nabi Saleh, jailed by Israel for slapping a soldier who invaded her home and following a confrontation during which her cousin sustained a serious head injury. Ahed was arrested alongside her mother, Nariman, and cousin, Nour in December. Their detention received international attention, as as a result of which Ahed’s trial was closed to the public. Ahed and her mother signed a plea deal in which each will serve eight months, while Nour was sentenced to time served. Significantly, on the day the Tamimi women were handed their sentences, an Israeli solidarity activist present at the hearing slapped the military prosecutor. That activist was jailed for two nights, but was released on Friday morning. This incident is representative of the dual legal systems under Israeli rule – one for Israeli Jews, another for Palestinians in the West Bank – a system that, as many have observed, bears many similarities to the apartheid system in South Africa until the early 1990s.
The exhibition will remain open until mid April.
if any of this blog’s readers is in the area, you are welcome to attend. Below are a few of the images featured in this exhibition.