Sliman Mansour's Perseverance and Hope
BY: Sara Alsayed / Arab America Contributing Writer
The second part of the Sliman Mansour art piece series is the Perseverance and Hope painting.
Sliman Mansour is a Palestinian painter and artist. He was born in a village in Ramallah and in a time when the zionist had not occupied and stolen Palestinian land.
He is considered a great and inspiring figure to all Palestinians and is known as an artist of the Intifada. He perfectly captures the pain and sufferings of the Palestinian people and all the struggle they face due to the occupation. Nonetheless, he also captures the beauty and courage of the men, women, and children who rise for the cause and stand up to injustice.
Sliman had lost his father when he was four years old and had moved to Jerusalem with his mother. There, he enrolled in the Bethlehem Academy of Arts and Crafts but dropped out at the age of nineteen because Israeli occupiers had accused him of setting fire to the library. It was later discovered that the source of the fire was a short circuit. He says that he did not gain experience at school and was able to enter the art world with his own effort and perseverance.
The art piece Preserverence and Hope was created in 1976. It is a painting that shows the struggle and hardships the Palestinians had to go through with their battle and resistance against the occupation and settlers (Israel). The art piece displays three Palestinians, each one representing a generation. This piece is a representation of what Palestinians had and still are going through, from colonialism to murders and exile, all at the hand of the occupiers. Yet all Palestinians have always been and always will be hopeful, they look toward the future, towards freedom and peace, and never surrender.
Sliman Mansour had witnessed many tragedies that have happened to the Palestinians. He witnessed the six-day war between Palestine and Israel, which ended with the occupier (Israel) occupying the Gaza Strip and the destruction of many refugee camps.
He captures the emotion of the people with the demonstration of people tied behind their backs. In addition, in the background, you can see men who are blindfolded and others who have their mouths covered. You can also see the struggle people faced and the hardships they had to undergo due to the occupation.
The painting was drawn on a paper of 99.2 by a 79.5 cm to ensure the visibility of the painting from a far away. The artist used the traditional oil painting technique where he sketched on canvas using thinned paint. The reason behind using oil-based paint was because of the added feature the oil painting will give to the art piece in terms of glossiness and workability.
The painting is not only a painting, but rather it is history. It represents the Palestinians’ history and struggles and a remembrance of all the terrible and gruesome acts that have been committed against the Palestinians. It defies all lies that have been presented to us by the media through the occupier (Israel) and shows the truth and reality of the Palestinians.
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