Saturday, September 02, 2006

Therapy, Bethlehem-Style

Frankly, this seems very silly and I'm not sure why I'm posting it. But these are pictures from our little adventure tagging in Bethlehem. That's tagging the Annexation Wall, I mean. Apparently, the hiss of a can of spray paint lifts the occupation-blues better than just about anything else.

I don't think one really needs an excuse to leave your mark on what is literally one of the largest instruments of oppression around, but we still had one. Viv, a friend of mine from Beit Jala, was leaving Palestine for an exciting and important peace-educator position in the U.S. We wanted to help her say goodbye to her home. But when my friend Francisco (names changed to protect the innocent) told me we'd be tagging the Wall near Rachel'sTomb, I started to have some second thoughts.

Rachel's Tomb, for the uninitiated, is an important site for Christians, Muslims, and Jews and is located inside Bethlehem. The Wall runs around it, snaking into Bethlehem. It's where the Israeli army tends to hang out. That makes it one of the most, shall we say exciting places to write on the wall in Bethlehem. But the blank, clean wall was simply irresistable. Viv asked the guys who own the gas station next to Rachel's Tomb if they minded. They said, "yalla (go ahead), just stay out of sight of the watch tower" and we began. And once you hear the sound of spray paint coming out of its can, soldiers just don't seem as scary.

(I wish these photos were better - taking pictures at night is never easy.)

"This is not a fence" because sometime you have to point out the obvious
"American $$, Israeli Wall, Palestinian Land" and "Aqui Estamos Y No Nos Vamos, We R NOT Going Anywhere!"

"And Still I Rise" by Francisco
Viv says her goodbye

Francisco paints a picture of someone digging under the wall. Its a lovely painting; wish I had a better picture.

Four cans of spray paint later, we were feeling wonderful and so were the guys at the gas station. At first they didn't know what to think of us, but then they started shouting slogans for us to paint. "Write, 'this is the logic of power, not the power of logic.'" "Now write, 'what goes up must come down.'" When we finished, they gave us black baseball caps and soda pop. "You've made it beautiful for us." they said. I hope they find more beauty in their lives, despite the ugliness of their oppression.

1 comment:

Halla said...

WAY TO GO JOY!! I wish I can leave my mark on that wall!