This article analyzes the strategies used by Israeli women to make illegal street art. The findings demonstrate that female street artists do not only trespass the taken‑for‑granted capitalist concept of who controls the public space, but also the normative boundaries of what activities are permitted or forbidden for women in this domain. In comparison to women artists that work in other societies, the transgressive actions of Israeli street artists involve both strategies historically defined as feminine, as well as critical strategies of the malestream order.
This essay examines the graffiti that covers the portion of the West Bank’s segregation wall that traverses Bethlehem. That the majority of the representations covering the wall are intended for international rather than local consumption complicates the prevalent tendency in the literature on this wall to align these representations homogenously with resistance. More than resisting a specific regime, many of these images enter into global conversations about the circulation of power. Images of resistance scripted and consumed by those who observe suffering from afar are juxtaposed to Palestinian engagements with the wall, which is frequently represented allegorically or not represented at all.
The paper focuses on graffiti which was created by The Gaza Strip settlers during the Israeli withdrawal (August 2005), while being fully aware of the houses’ predetermined demolition by the Israeli army. The graffiti served two functions: One, concrete and short termed, was meant to the eyes of the soldiers and the media, and was constructed as an image event. The second function was the construction of historical commemoration through iconic and inscribed narratives, and was directed exclusively to digital archives on the Internet and private collections. This choice illustrates the deliberate twist of the original essence of graffiti as an anonymous genre which usually performs in the public sphere into a protest against the desecration of the intimate sphere. Biblical citations, popular songs, political slogans and playful inscriptions are discussed. The content analysis of 150 graffiti is supported by interviews which were conducted with graffiti writers and their addressees.
Rokem, Freddie. "The Violin Player, the Soccer Game and the Wall-Graffiti. Rhetorical Strategies in the Border-Regions between Israel and Palestine." Arcadia. International Journal for Literary Studies 45.2 (2011): 326-38.
This contribution examines an incident at a roadblock which took place in November 2004, documented in a short video and was also reproduced as a still in Israeli media. This image immediately became broadly discussed and contested. It shows a young Palestinian man playing a violin at a check point while a group of Israeli soldiers are standing and guarding the place. This image was drawn into larger clusters of signification where the rhetorical strategies employed become both quite complex and ambiguous. The image became contextualized within discourses of conflict, creating what Walter Benjamin in his Passagenwerk termed “constellations.” – Besides presenting this notion and its hermeneutic potentials my article examines the historical associations of the image, arguing that the associations with the Holocaust are actually a way to minimize the pain and suffering of the Palestinians under Israeli occupation rather than highlighting them in a broader universal context. – Another aspect of this image is connected to the technologies of creating and disseminating images of conflict/occupation and how they affect the ethical discussions surrounding this incident. I will argue that historical constellations tend to obscure rather than sharpen the ethical dimensions of images like the Palestinian violin player at the check point. – A number of graffiti paintings on the separation wall, in particular by the British graffiti artist Bansky, as well as a cellphone advertisement featuring the separation wall will be examined in order to contextualize the discourses of conflict and occupation.