Gaza artist mixes beauty with pain in her ballet paintings

Gaza, September 21 (BNA): The dark-colored paintings of the Palestinian artist, Abeer Jibril, will be displayed.

Ballerinas chained to barbed wire, dancing on rocks, or facing barricades to reflect what she calls the reality of the “ticking bomb” for women in Gaza.

She hopes her photos will draw attention to the social and political problems women face in Gaza, a city of two million people devastated by wars and economic restrictions.

The artist said her work also depicts the limitations women face within the family and society in Gaza, a traditionally conservative area ruled by the Islamist group Hamas since 2007.

Inspired by Edgar Degas, the French Impressionist artist, Gabriel said that the ballerina portrayed women as beautiful, free, strong and athletic.

“The reason I chose the ballerina is because I see her as an icon of beauty and strength. That’s why I chose her to be my heroine,” said Jibril, 35, from her home in Gaza City.

“It shows what a woman feels, how she lives, their faces, how they are chained, and shows the audience what they feel in Gaza,” she said, sitting in front of a number of her paintings.

One of the paintings depicts a dancer with her feet bound with barbed wire. Another stepped on the rocks while a third woman wrapped her body around a grenade.

“Men and women are in chains under the occupation,” Jibril said, referring to Israel, which along with Egypt imposes strict restrictions on the Gaza border for security reasons.

She said her paintings also highlight how “women suffer from male domination and the inability to have a say on important issues.”

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Jibril said that men and women “live in a time bomb in Gaza,” not knowing what would happen next.

Jibril said she got ideas for her paintings from the movements of international ballerinas and those of her 11-year-old daughter, Maya, who is a ballet dancer.

Her pictures, created using painters’ knives, were shown in the galleries of some European and Arab countries.

“I despaired of seeing paintings on display outside (Gaza) and I couldn’t be there. I wish I could stand by them,” she said.


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