Yesterday I went to visit with group of friends, the P21 Gallery in London to check out an exhibition on photography, video and drawing that shed light on life in the Gaza Strip, curated by Bibiana Macedonia and Emma K Freeman. Featuring work by Mohamed Al-Hawajri, Belal Khaled, Kent Klich, Andrew McConnell, Peter Rhoades and Asmaa Seba. This exhibition doesn’t address politics but embrace the people living in Gaza plus it is free and run until end of May. So if you are in London, do visit it and enjoy cup of coffee at P21 in house cultural cafe.
It is right that I quote some of Mahmoud Darwish long poem on a lover from Palestine
“Take me, wherever you are,
Take me, however you are.
To be restored to the warmth of face and body,
To the light of heart and eye,
To the salt of bread and song,
To the taste of earth and homeland.
Shelter me in the warmth of your gaze,
Take me, a panel of almond wood, in the cottage of sorrows,
Take me, a verse from the book of my tragedy,
Take me, a plaything or a stone from the house,
So that our next generation may recall
The path of return to our home.
Her eyes and the tattoo on her hands are Palestinian,
Her name, Palestinian,
Her dreams, and sorrow, Palestinian,
Her Kerchief, her feet and body, Palestinian,
Her words and her silence, Palestinian,
Her voice, Palestinian,
Her birth and her death, Palestinian,
I have carried you in my old notebooks
As the fire of my verses,
The sustenance for my journeys.
In your name, my voice rang in the valleys:
I have seen Byzantium’s horses
Even though the battle be different.
Beware, oh beware
The lightning struck by my song in the granite.
I am the flower of youth and the knight of knights!
I am the smasher of idols.
I plant the Levantine borders
With poems that set eagles free.
And in your name I have shouted at the enemy:
Worms, feed on my flesh if ever I slumber,
For the eggs of ants cannot hatch eagles,
And the shell of the adder’s egg
Holds but a snake!
I have seen Byzantium’s horses,
And before it all, I know
That I am the flower of youth and the knight of knights!”
Untitled by Peter Rhoades 2011