Sunday, April 26, 2009
Although I was not able to screen John Halaka's new documentary "Wounds of the Heart: An Artist and Her Nation," I did want to highlight the upcoming free screening at the University of San Diego's SOLES (School of Leadership and Education Sciences) Theater on Monday April 27th at 6:00 pm. Halaka is a San Diego based visual artist and USD professor, and local work like his deserves to be supported. The film focuses on the artwork of Rana Bishara, a Palestinian artist from the Galilee.
Halaka was born in Egypt and is of Palestinian descent. He is also a Professor of Painting and Drawing at the USD, where he has taught since 1991.His documentary subject, Rana Bishara, is a Palestinian Visual Artist whose work includes sculpture, installation work and performance art. The film's website says, "Her artwork functions simultaneously as an elegy to the Palestinian Nakba (the Arabic term for "The Great Disaster" that began in 1948), an unmasking of the brutality of the Israeli occupation of Palestine and a critique of the biased Western media's depiction of the Palestinians' struggle against their occupiers. The objects employed in her artwork perform as surrogates for the body and spirit of Palestine and its people. Her work, in both its physical and conceptual manifestations is an expression of the inseparable blending of the personal and political experiences that define the identity of every Palestinian."
Rana is a Palestinian citizen of Israel and according to the notes on the film, "Rana deeply understands how feelings of belonging and claims of ownership, irrevocably separate, yet permanently connect Arabs and Jews in their struggle for a land that is called Palestine by one group and Israel by the other. Each of the two cultures wants to hold on to every inch of land claimed by the other. The Palestinians strongly feel that they belong to the land, while the Israelis insist that the land belongs to them. Bishara's artwork is deeply embedded in and informed by the Palestinian experiences of displacement, exile and occupation and the desire of Palestinian refugees to return to the lands they were displaced from. Through her work, Rana wants to convey the wounds of the heart inflicted upon her father's generation and subsequent generations of Palestinians. She wants to bear witness to a once multicultural Palestinian society that was destroyed in 1948 and a once thriving agricultural society that has been irrevocably changed."
For more information call 619-260-4107. USD is located at 5998 Alcala Park, San Diego. Admission is free.