Wednesday, 8 February 2023

Textile Details

'Gaza 2021', by Linda Adams. (Photo: Martin Melaugh)
'Gaza 2021', by Linda Adams. (Photo: Martin Melaugh)


Title of Textile:Gaza 2021
Maker: Linda Adams
Country of Origin: England
Year Produced: 2021
Size (cm): 40 cm (w) x 31 (h)
Materials: Recycled furnishing fabrics and clothing
Type of Textile: Arpillera

On 10th May 2021, the long running Israeli-Palestinian conflict erupted following a series of protests against the threatened evictions of Palestinian families in the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood of East Jerusalem, to make way for settlers. These protests were met with a heavy handed police response. Scenes of police restricting access to, and using force against, peaceful protesters and worshippers within Al Aqsa Mosque further inflamed tensions and led to Hamas demanding the withdrawal of Israeli forces from the Al Aqsa compound and Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood.

When this did not occur, Hamas and other armed groups launched a rocket strike towards Israel who responded with intense aerial, land and sea bombardment. When the ceasefire brokered by Egypt came into effect 11 days later on 21st May, the casualties were high; 242 Palestinians had been killed, 63 of whom were children, and an estimated 74,000 were displaced. Ten Israeli citizens were killed, including two children, with thousands forced into shelters. (May 2021) UN High Commissioner for Human Rights .

Arpillerista Linda Adams was incensed at the carnage she witnessed on news reports, “the bombing of people living in Gaza by the Israelis ...the city being destroyed … no safe place to hide and no-one to help with rescue”. She responded with needle, thread and fabric – as she did in 2014 with Gaza following the Israeli “Operation Protective Edge” in the Gaza Strip.

As she shaped scenes of destruction and desolation, once again she could not reconcile the historical experience of Israeli people with the present actions of the Israeli state: “after the way the Israelis suffered in the concentration camps I hoped they would create a place safe from persecution”.

As the task of rebuilding lives, livelihoods, communities and infrastructure proceeds, Michelle Bachelet, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights cautions that “… unless the root causes of this violence are addressed, it will sadly be a matter of time until the next round of violence commences”, and calls for “a genuine and inclusive peace process to address these root causes and bring the occupation to an end”.

(27 May 2021) Statement by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights at a Special Session of the Human Rights Council.

Owner: Ulster Museum collection. Acquired from Conflict Textiles collection (2022).
Location: Ulster Museum, Belfast, Northern Ireland
Original / Replica: Original
Photographer: Martin Melaugh

Textile exhibited at: The Glorious Art of Peace, 4/04/2022 - 1/05/2022
State of the Art: Transformative Memories in Political Violence, 28/09/2022 - 23/10/2022

Textile Detail Image(s)

  'Gaza 2021 - reverse side', by Linda Adams. (Photo: Martin Melaugh)