The wall of the security fencing dividing Israel and Palestine.
In 1917, with permission from the Balfour Declaration, Israel began its occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip in Palestine. Arabs responded with revolt. Britain stopped Jewish immigration. 1947, UN partitioned land into Arab and Jewish States. War broke out. Jews won, creating hundreds of thousands of Palestinian refugees. War broke out (1956, 1967, 1973, 1982). Terror raids. Israeli reprisals. Nearly a century of hostility. 2007, a French street artist launches the biggest illegal art project ever, in 8 Israeli and Palestinian cities. Massive black and white photos pasted everywhere, each one side by side with another, portraits of a Palestinian and an Israeli, both who spend their days navigating the streets as taxi drivers, or selling produce as business owners. The project was initially met with anger, Israelis at the presence of Palestinian in their communities, Palestinians at Israelis in theirs. However when asked which photo to take down, they could not say. Art brought an understanding, a peace, a tolerance that no meeting, discussion or declaration could produce.
That same peace is strived for by the ArtWorks Projects, an organization that depicts international struggles through various medias to draw attention to human rights violations and environmental issues across the globe. Through design they reach out to large populations to engage the public and uncover inequalities existing in everyday life. Their projects have included concerns revolving human trafficking, water shortages, violence against women and genocide. By focusing on extreme abuse, Artworks offers an alternative to the mainstream media and uses creativity and art to bring about international egalitarianism.
Art is powerful, insightful, influential. Its effects extend from personal growth to the collective progress of a community, to finally the improvement of humanity. Art can change the world.
"Art is not done to decorate apartments. It is an instrument of war." Pablo Picasso