hello! i'm back with another issue of the grapefruits sometimes art mail a little sooner than planned. this special installment is less art-centric than usual, as it is focused on what's happening in gaza right now.
i'm definitely not an expert on any of this and don't know the best way to write about this subject. but i guess i decided that even an awkward email newsletter is better than silence.
there are a lot of comprehensive learning resources and informative social media accounts that are being shared widely, and many folks have probably already seen. in the interest of offering something potentially new, i tried to put together a collection of art-related items, specific reporting, and platforms for activism and support that i personally found hopeful or useful recently. i hope they are useful and maybe hopeful to you!
because this is supposed to be a newsletter about art, i'll start with a couple of features that slightly more in that realm:
first is this article regarding the issue of arts institutions censoring and to some degree blacklisting artists who speak out on behalf of palestinian freedom. this kind of thing has been happening in academia too. if you're interested in learning more about this issue, scholars for social justice is hosting a webinar/panel discussion next week about activism in scholarship and institutional repression. here's the link to register.
sadly i didn't know about the significance watermelon symbol until the current violence brought it to my attention. but i love it!
if you want to print out a poster to bring to a demonstration or staple to telephone poles around town, or if you want to share something on social media but feel weird just re-posting something random, there are plenty of options out there! some of my favorites are these graphics packages from the collective just seeds---they are free, and they have tons of them!
if you are in portland on sunday december 10 (this weekend!), the swana rose culture and community center is hosting a souk (a bazaar/market) featuring local artists and vendors. (also, in case you did not know, "swana" is an acronym that stands for southwest asia/north africa.)
on to less-art-centric items:
the always amazing vee hua has written a thoroughly researched account of bias and misinformation that has made learning what's happening especially challenging. read it at redefine magazine.
i found out today while researching for this email that the 75th anniversary of the declaration of human rights is coming up soon. maybe this occasion could help put more pressure on the u.s. to stop supporting israel?
if you have not yet contacted your representatives in congress to demand a ceasefire, the organization jewish voice for peace has a super easy widget to help you do so. do it!
i was looking into aid organizations and funds i could donate to that would help in some way, and quickly learned there is almost no aid or humanitarian support that can even get to people in most of gaza right now. below is a recent statement from doctors without borders:
here's an excerpt: "On November 1, all internationally mobile MSF staff who had been unable to leave the Gaza Strip since October 7 successfully crossed the Egyptian border via the Rafah crossing. However, some of our Palestinian colleagues remain in Gaza and continue to provide care to the wounded at MSF-supported facilities and collaborate with local health care workers."
"The level of humanitarian aid allowed into Gaza is completely inadequate compared to the massive needs. Prior to the war, aid organizations estimate that between 300 and 500 truckloads of aid crossed into Gaza each day.
This siege leaves nearly no respite for patients caught up in the fighting nor for medical staff."
it's absolutely still worthwhile to donate so that organizations like doctors without borders are prepared to send help when they can, as well as keeping their many other humanitarian missions in other parts of the world operating. here are a couple more gaza-specific efforts you might think of donating to:https://www.anera.org/what-we-do/emergency/ https://www.map.org.uk/what-we-do/what-we-do
of course i am sure there are many more groups that could use support right now that i don't know about---if you know of other places to donate or ways to help please pass them along!
thank you for reading, feel free to email me back if you have thoughts to add, resources to share, or just want to chat!