Art and Resistance Under Occupation with Rehab Nazzal and Sarala Emmanuel

Forbidden Images: art and resistance under occupation

A conversation with Rehab Nazzal and Sarala Emmanuel
Followed by SAVAC’s Annual General Meeting (AGM)

February 24, 2024, 11:00am-1:30pm EST
Register for the zoom link

What role can art play in contexts of war, apartheid, and settler colonialism? What makes expressions of resistance and solidarity so powerful as to be heavily censored?

For years, artist Rehab Nazzal has depicted what it means to live under occupation using photography, video, and sound. Her work reveals the everyday mechanisms of state surveillance, segregation, and control as well as people’s resistance. Rehab is currently in the West Bank documenting the unspeakable brutality against people in Jenin Refugee Camp. Here, Israeli Occupation Forces demonstrate disregard for Palestinian life by desecrating even images of Palestinian people. In Eastern Sri Lanka, researcher and activist Sarala Emmanuel has supported Tamil speaking women affected by war and violence for 20 years. She often works closely with women in rural communities, advocating for political and labour rights, queer and trans rights, and disability justice.

As Israel’s genocide in Gaza continues, we will screen Vibrations from Gaza (2023, 16 min) directed by Rehab Nazzal and invite you to participate in a live conversation between Rehab and Sarala as they draw connections between the violence against people and land in Palestine and Sri Lanka.

About the film: Vibrations from Gaza offers a glimpse into the experiences of Deaf children in the colonized and confined coastal territory of Gaza, Palestine. Born and raised under Israeli siege and frequent onslaughts, Amani, Musa, Israa, and other Deaf children, provide vivid accounts of their encounter of bombardment and the constant presence of drones in their sky.

Accessibility: Free event. Zoom closed captioning. The film includes Sign Language with English subtitles.

Speaker biographies

Hindutva Hollowing Out

Educational Resource

With the rise of right wing Hindu Nationalism (also known as Hindutva) in India and Canada, there has been a marked increase in intimidation, censorship, and hate acts aimed at artists who are seen as critical of Hindutva. In response, a group of artists and cultural workers who wished to deepen their understanding and capacities to address this issue came together. We compiled a cursory reading/watch list to build knowledge and fuel our discussions in dealing with what we see as a threat to artistic freedom. To add to these texts, we also brought in speakers with a range of political positions to share their experiences of doing this kind of work. Together, we created a free educational resource with reading materials and our reflections on what we learned which is now available through SAVAC’s Missed Connections platform.

SAVAC (South Asian Visual Arts Centre)
401 Richmond Street West, Suite 450
Toronto, ON M5V 3A8
+1 416 542 1661
Instagram: @savac_