Eids Art Work Shop2020-01-08T16:41:31+00:00

Eid Hathaleen: The Occupation of Art

Born and raised in the South Hebron Hills, Eid Hathaleen’s life has been impacted by the violence of an unrelenting Israeli military occupation and a program of colonization. His family was driven off their ancestral in al-Arad, just south of what is now the Green Line. As Bedouins, living a nomadic lifestyle, they were forced to give up parts of their culture when they purchased land from the community of Yatta in the 1960’s and created the village of Um al-Khair.

His life was forever changed when the Israeli state allowed for the establishment of the Carmel settlement in the 1980’s. The colonization of the neighboring lands ushered in a new era of violence, as home demolitions and their impacts in his community would define the last two decades. According to UN data, since 2007 there have been some 20 incidents of home demolitions, displacing over 150 people. Currently, in Um al-Khair, all but two homes have demolition orders.

A self-taught artist, Eid has been transforming the violence around him into pieces of inspiring art. “Since the age of 12, I have been building miniature-sized jeeps, bulldozers, and helicopters from plastic, iron, and other scraps that I find in my village,” explained Eid.  “While in real life, these vehicles represent the oppressive Israeli occupation, in my work, I render them back into a constructive element that can be appreciated again for their positive use.”

Eid’s Art Workshop

Eid’s artwork has gained the attention of the international community and he has exhibited his work globally with such artists as Ai Weiwei. His artistic success has allowed him to carry the message of home demolitions globally and given the people of South Hebron Hills a voice. He has testified in front of the US Congress, EU representatives, and continues to give presentations to hundreds of internationals every year in Um al-Khair. 

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Learn about how art and social justice can intersect and bring new understandings of resistance. Art classes in Um al-Khair aren’t just about art and social justice theory, it is about being a part of a unique international community based on solidarity.
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This art provides a way for other people to engage with some of the events taking place in the community that otherwise might seem more abstract or far off. For some, art is their mode of resistance. Eid’s art opens up the doors for others to participate.

Leena, Finland

When you see Eid’s artwork, you can also see the ways Israel’s occupation penetrates deep into people lives, impacting them in different ways. Eid’s artwork demonstrates how that can be resisted internally and tell a story externally.

Sarah, United States

Visiting Um al-Khair, listening to the stories, and engaging with the people and their personal and community resistance equips you to go back home and be a part of justice making in your own capacity.

Alon, United Kingdom

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