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Demand an end to Israel's blockade of Gaza and control of the West Bank borders, whilst making international visas cheap and obtainable.

OPEN BORDERS & ADVOCATE FOR FREE MOVEMENT 

A BRIEF CONTEXT 

“Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each State.  Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and return to his country”

 ARTICLE 13 OF THE UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS

      In 1948, during the Nakba, over 750,000 Palestinians were forcibly displaced as the Israeli State was established.  There are now over seven million Palestinians internationally, many have no right of return to Palesinian land even for short visits.

       For Palestinians who remain, including as internally displaced refugees, Israel controls almost all aspects of the land, dividing it up into Gaza, the West Bank and 48 (also termed Israel). Surrounding these areas with walls, Palestinians are almost completely restricted from travelling between the different areas.

        Causing mass displacement and dividing Palestinians and the land into geographical, legal and administrative groupings, not only physically stops people from coming together but allows Israel to control and fracture communication, exchange of knowledge, sharing of ideas and unity of identity.

      Israel also has sole authority over the airspace, inhibiting the Palestinian right to have airports whilst also controlling all borders. 

TRAVEL IN AND OUT OF GAZA

      Since 2007, there has been a blockade on Gaza restricting the movement of everything from food, water, medicine and people. Entrance in and out of Gaza is highly restricted and arduous,, including artists who, therefore, cannot travel to perform, exhibit work or collaborate internationally.

 

​TRAVEL IN AND OUT OF THE WEST BANK

     In the West Bank, Israel controls the border, regularly banning Palestinians from leaving. This includes artists whose work they deem too political or those they have previously imprisoned. Those who are allowed to cross can be subjected to aggressive and humiliating interrogations, with the overland journey that involves crossing three borders (Palestinian, Israeli, and Jordanian) taking a minimum of one day and costing 150 Euro one way.

    In the West Bank and East Jerusalem, OCHA recorded 565 Israeli obstructions to movement, including checkpoints, roadblocks, and trenches. This means that even within the West Bank, movement is highly restricted, with artists having to take long and difficult journeys if they want to tour or study in different cities.

​TRAVEL IN AND OUT OF 48

    Palestinians who live in 48 as Israeli citizens, can travel through Israeli airports but face arbitrary travel bans and intense security searches in the airports.

TRAVEL IN AND OUT OF PALESTINE FOR INTERNATIONALS

    Israel also control entrance into the West Bank and 48 for internationals. The only visa that is realistically available is a three-month Israeli tourist visa. Therefore, foreigners cannot enter regularly, and anyone thought to be travelling to, working with or volunteering for a Palestine organisation or who has supported the BDS movement will be banned from entrance. Those with Arab or Muslim identity or heritage are subject to additional scrutiny and are much more likely to be refused entrance.

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VISAS

            Palestinians living in the West Bank and Gaza have a Palestinian Passport, which as of February 2024, ranks 188th in the world, with entrance to only 13 countries being without a visa. Many of the visa processes are expensive, discriminative and intentionally complex. Palestinians living in East Jerusalem have a laissez-passer, an international travel document intended for stateless persons, in lieu of a passport, making visa applications even more complicated. Some examples that directly affect Palestinians include but are not limited to:

  • Visa applications often require the person to declare a criminal record or if they have been charged with terrorism. 40% of the male and 20% of the female Palestinian population has been imprisoned by Israel. Often under ‘terrorism” charges, there is no proper judicial system, trial or charge and “evidence”, which most likely doesn't exist, is kept secret from the defendant and their lawyer.

  • Countries like the US require you to physically go to their embassy in Jordan. They can hold your passport for up to two weeks, meaning you must remain in another country awaiting a visa.

  • The UK visa application requires someone to declare and prove they have regular income and financial security. This penalises those who work as artists in a freelance capacity and who come from places where there is a much lower GDP both of which are true for Palestinians.

EXAMPLES OF ACTION TO INSPIRE YOUR OWN

BUILD DIGITAL COLLABORATION 

THEATRE FOR EVERYBODY in Gaza and THEATRE AZ in London began a long-term collaboration in 2007 to allow artists to travel to both places. At the time, Israel banned their blockade of Gaza, restricting all movement. Instead, they began a digital collaboration between artists and audiences in both places. This continued during Israel's genocide in Gaza in the form of Messages From Gaza.

SPREAD THE WORDS
OF ARTISTS

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Palestinian artists have made  their testimonies, texts and poetry available to read around the world. Share their words at events, meetings, and protests.  and use storytelling to mobile globally.

PROGRAM
VIRTUAL REALITY

IN A THOUSAND SILENCES is Palestine's first-ever virtual reality film and combines dance, music, poetry and storytelling with performances.

Using the latest digital technology to defy borders, walls and checkpoints, global audiences are immersed in our cultural spaces - from the desert to the mountains, Jenin Refugee Camp and theatres both ancient and new.

WRITE A LETTER OF SUPPORT FOR AN ARTIST VISA

Particularly if you have a recognised position in an arts organisation or a prestigious role in the community, your letter of support for an artist's visa could be crucial. Offer to write a letter or contact your local Politician, Artistic Director or unimportant person you might know to help.

READ TESTIMONIES FROM THE REVOLUTION'S PROMISE

The Revolution's Promise is a collection of testimonies from Palestinian artists under attack. They are available to read, perform and share in multiple languages at public events, protests, Universities and in your local community or groups. There is also a full-length script of 1hr, put together from some of the stories.

READ ALL THE TESTIMONIES >>

FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THE REVOLUTION'S PROMISE >>

Below are testimonies in English specific to how the dividing up of Palestine has affected artists. 

ARNA MER KHAMIS 

ON ARTS & EDUCATION IN JENIN REFUGEE CAMP

Born in 1929, to a Jewish settler family, Arna was a pro-Palestinian human rights activist and teacher. Alongside local Palestinian women in Jenin Refugee Camp, she founded Defence of Children and The Stone Theatre, teaching and giving art therapy. In 1993, she was awarded the Right Livelihood Award.

BIOGRAPHY >>

RANIA ELIAS

ON ATTACKS ON YABOUS CULTURAL CENTRE, 1995 - 2021 

Rania Elias tells on the challenges for Palestinians working in Jerusalem and the Israeli aggression towards Yabous and its staff, including her own detainment and interrogated. 

BIOGRAPHY >>

BAHAA ELDIN IBDAH

ON CENSORSHIP FOR PALESTINIAN LIVING IN 48, 2023

Bahaa is a young acting student from the 1948 Palestinian territories (also referred to as Israel). Here, he speaks about the current censorship Palestinians are facing as Israeli citizens and how The Freedom Theatre in Jenin Refugee provides a space to speak.

BIOGRAPHY >>

MAPS AND THE DIVISION OF PALESTINE

We are used maps from various sources and organisations (click on other graphics to see source) 

however, the majority are from VISUALISING PALESTINE  

SCROLL UP & DOWN / RIGHT & LEFT TO SEE ALL 

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