Palestinian artist depicts urge for freedom

Cultural Correspondent | Published at 08:49pm on September 05, 2018

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Palestinian artist Monther Jawabreh poses with his honourable mention award.

Palestinian artist Monther Jawabreh has won the honourable mention award for his artwork titled ‘Elevation’ depicting man’s urge to win freedom defying barriers at the 18th edition of Asian Art Biennale.
Jawabreh, who has participated for the first time in the biennale, received the award consisting of Tk 300,000, a crest and a certificate from president Abdul Hamid on Saturday at the inaugural ceremony of the biennale.
The award-winning work Elevation shows a man, covered with barbed wire spikes, climbing a wall.
‘The higher we go in Earth, the wider spaces we can explore. When we are high enough we can open our arms wide and try to fly defying any barriers or barbed wire’, said the artist about the work. Jawabreh also shared his artistic journey and spoke on the art scene in Palestine.
‘I did not expect to win an award at the Asian Art Biennale as I am participating in the event for the first time’, said Jawabreh, who also shared his experience of the biennale.
‘This is a very big art event. So many artists from across the world have participated in the biennale. This award will inspire and motivate me to move forward’, added Jawabreh.
When asked about the art scene in Palestine, a country which often gets featured in international news for political and humanitarian issues, conflict and bloodshed, Jawabreh said, ‘artists depict their surroundings through their distinctive art works. Artists in Palestine are also doing the same. We have around a hundred professional artists and three art galleries’.
Jawabreh has held eight solo shows in Palestine, Lebanon, Morocco, Germany and Tunisia till date.
When asked how Palestinian artists respond to the political turmoil, violence and human sufferings, Jawabreh shared Palestinian artists always depict turmoil and violence in their artworks. Besides, they also depict other stories and themes as well.
‘An artist responds to, and is influenced by, what happens around him. At the same time, he goes beyond his surroundings and works on themes that are true and relevant to everyone’, said Jawabreh, adding that he hopes to participate in more art events in Bangladesh in future.