Jerusalem24 – Amir Elkadi – The role of art in the Palestinian experience cannot be overstated, especially for someone who lived most of their life in the diaspora.
“Being in the diaspora has been challenging growing up because it always has this effect of cultural and identity crisis,” Dahlia Tuffaha, a young Palestinian Visual Artist tells Jerusalem24.
In Tuffaha’s own words, her work reflects what she goes through on a daily basis in Palestine, and as a Palestinian in exile coming back here after longing for home.
Right outta Saudi
The artist spent most of her life in Saudi Arabia before deciding to move to Palestine and explore her Palestinian identity through art.
“Growing up in Saudi Arabia, I never got to live in Palestine only until now as an adult”. Tuffaha elaborates: “I had no idea about what Palestine is [like] and how to contribute to the cause, which caused me to conflict in understanding what’s going on.”
Through her art, Tuffaha says she was able to understand Palestine and its cause more deeply, despite the challenges and limitations posed by the ongoing “conflict”.Not only Tuffaha began to understand the Palestinian cause but also utilized her artwork as a form of resistance.
“Artistic expression reclaims Palestinian narrative”
Tuffaha recognizes the importance of art in resisting the ongoing occupation in Palestine, and believes that “art is an essential tool to keep fighting.”
Many Palestinians have faced immense emotional and psychological distress due to the violence, displacement, and human rights abuses that they experience on daily basis due to the ongoing Israeli occupation.
“Art serves as a form of resistance in bringing visibility to the Palestinian cause locally and internationally,” Tuffaha says. “Also, it serves as means of coping with trauma due to the ongoing occupation.”
Tuffaha believes that through artistic expression, Palestinians are able to reclaim their narratives and assert their resistance in the face of oppression.
Listen to the full interview on Vibes.