From Bethlehem to Ruhrgebiet: The “Wall Museum” in Essen

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Stadtspiegel in Essen, 26 April 2017

(…) Well-known is the graffiti sprayed on the Wall: satirical pieces of art that testify of the artists’ anger but also show their dreams and hopes. In this context the Arab Educational Institute in Bethlehem, abbreviated AEI, a partner organization of the Catholic peace movement Pax Christi, made a special exhibition: the “Wall Museum”.

Wall Museum 2017The organization strives to set up a trans-border community and tries to explain to an international audience about the oppression of human rights of the Palestinian people in the West Bank, by showing life stories of Palestinians. AEI enables inhabitants of Bethlehem to take part in cultural and social activities and talk about their experiences, so that they can reflect and absorb them and feel strengthened in surviving their difficult daily life. 

AEI collected stories of women and youth and printed them on weather-resistant posters and attached them to the Wall. In this way people can read the stories of their difficulties in daily life, telling about the occupation but also people’s endurance, humanity and humor. The Palestinians share their experiences with tourists and let them have an inside view of their everyday life.

The Diocesan association of Essen of the international Catholic peace movement Pax Christi decided to bring the exhibition to their Diocese. 21 posters with selected stories and explanations about the historic and political background are on view. The posters are, like the originals, in English. There is a little booklet with the German translation of all the texts. 

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