Feature: Palestinian Museum displays collection of political posters

The Palestinian Museum, in the West Bank town of Birzeit, on Tuesday unraveled parts of its large collection of political posters produced by the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and political factions under it.

Palestinians used posters as a means of communication and a tool to raise awareness from the mid 1960s till the early 1990s.

During that time, posters, as well as the Palestinian flag, were outlawed by Israeli authorities and many of them were created and disseminated abroad and under cover.

The Palestinian posters held political messages, motivational messages and mobilization calls addressing both Palestinians and non-Palestinians around the world, amid their struggle for freedom.

The posters were filled with imagery and icons like natural landscape, orange or olive orchids, women, children and guerilla fighters.

In its exhibition titled “Glimmer of a Grove Beyond,” the Palestinian Museum offered a glimpse into its collection of 540 posters by displaying 32 posters that followed through the theme of landscape and how it was depicted throughout the years.

Adele Jarrar, art critic and exhibition curator, told Xinhua that those posters were from Australia, which were donated by art collector and former PLO ambassador Ali Kazak.

“The aim of the exhibition is to provide audience with a new way to experience the landscape. In previous exhibitions, the medium was art works, but in this show, the medium is the poster,” the curator explained.

The posters collection is being preserved under special conditions inside the museum’s conservation room.

Baraa Bawatneh, the museum’s registrar assistant, explained that the large collection has been in a good condition and only a few require restoration.

The Palestinian Museum has been collecting works, documents and visual materials to offer researchers and artists a unique opportunity to get a hold of Palestinian history that has been suffering losses amid years of war and struggle.

Haneen Saleh, the museum’s information officer, said that the museum’s permanent collection has reached 7,000 archival pieces, most of which have been copied and digitalized, while the originals were returned to their owners.

The title of the exhibition “Glimmer of a Grove Beyond” was inspired by the memoirs of French author Jean Genet, who used the term to describe the lights of the Galilee as he saw them from beyond the Jordanian border, where he was encamped with Palestinian guerilla groups during the early 1970s.

The Palestinian Museum is the first museum in Palestine that offers artistic and educational programs to boost the Palestinian cultural sector.