Life in GAZA Today 
A collection of paintings by Christian and Muslim children and adult artists who live in Gaza 

In December 2008 the Israeli Defense Forces invaded the tiny pocket of land on the eastern Mediterranean Sea known as the Gaza Strip killing approximately 1400 residents and wounding thousands more. Having wreaked great destruction and death on the area the military then withdrew and tightened again its close cordon of control around all aspects of life in the Gaza Strip which had been in place for two years. Israel continues to control the borders of Gaza, and controls all movement and trade with the outside world. Gaza’s seaport is closed and its airport bombed. All access to the population of 1.5million (over half of whom are children) including humanitarian aid, all food and water, construction supplies and medical equipment and supplies is closely controlled by Israel. These two experiences of ‘the war’ and ‘the siege’ have defined life for the people in Gaza. 

What is it like to live under such conditions? What do ordinary people experience? How do they cope and what do they long for? Can we hear the voice of ordinary Gazan people through the razor wire of the border fences and the blackout of everyday news and gossip from one of the poorest, most densely populated and most heavily controlled places on the planet? 

The Major Issues and Theology Foundation (MIAT) believes that one way we can do this is through art. After Israel’s withdrawal in early 2009 we commissioned a number of paintings showing images of life in Gaza. This was a way of both contributing economically to communities in Gaza and learning about conditions in a place very few people are permitted to visit and even fewer are allowed to leave. The result is this exhibition, Life in Gaza Today. 

The paintings include works by school children, painted with the freshness and the hopefulness of youth and works by established artists who have exhibited internationally. The whole exhibition is imbued with the power that comes from living under oppression for many decades. Paintings like ‘Blockaded Boats’ portray the poignant message of a ‘life on hold’, of the wide range of possibilities and potential of ordinary people that the Siege holds in check. We commend the exhibition to you and invite you to join with all people of goodwill who stand in solidarity with the ordinary people of Gaza. 

Grace and peace, 

Rev James Barr 
Chair, Major Issues and Theology Foundation 
Senior Minister, Canberra Baptist Church 

Click here to download Artists Catalogue to view images and commentary

Gallery pieces - quick view

Past and Present Gaza Before Gaza After Destruction and Death My Wish New day for Palestinian People Our Historic Mosque To be an oasis Ancient Culture Remember us
What is left
Under Attack Holy Jerusalem Gaza Art -- Children's and Adults 2009 MASTER 013 To be Free as a Butterfly Colonisation of Gaza
Indifference of the World Cemetery and Artesian Well Gaza Art -- Children's and Adults 2009 MASTER 018 Resistance Beauty and Freedom Free like Butterfly Missiles and Black Sky Time of War Green Trees and Smiling Sun
My Dream
Helping his Wounded Friend The Basil 1 The Basil 2
Besieged Colors 1
Besieged Colors 2
Dream under Siege The People's Agony
Burning Camp Blockaded Boats
Angels from Gaza 1 Angels from Gaza 2 Death
Terror on a Cold Night Palestine
Reality or Illusion
Power and Glory against
Greyness and Misery
Gaza's Old Market Look to the Future