The beautiful work above, by artist Mara Gerson, was offered to JVP members as a Rosh Hashanah card to bring in 5779 with justice, hope, and solidarity. The project is one example of the many ways that art breathes life into our social justice movements.
Offering art and cultural work to both strengthen organizing as well as shape its strategy, the artists and cultural workers of JVP draw on various histories and diverse disciplines to lift up radical Jewish histories; to raise collective awareness about the Nakba and the ongoing colonization of historic Palestine; to support cultural boycott and other local and national BDS campaigns; to partner with Palestinian artists and uplift Palestinian cultural resistance; to reclaim Jewish ritual and stories; to center the voices and vision of Jews of Color, Sephardi and Mizrahi Jews; and to challenge the mobilization of Jewish trauma to support Israeli state violence.
JVP’s work needs artists and cultural workers to help us envision more just and possible futures– not simply what is politically “practical” in this moment.
Art compels us to question, invites us to memory, provokes us to act. What does a pluralistic, socially just, multi-ethnic, vibrant, safe, and flourishing Israel/Palestine look like? What do the houses and cities look like? Which books are on the shelves? What does an open, joyous, diverse, global Jewish community feel like? What do we pray about? How do our instruments sound?
Art is one of our strongest tools for representing resistance… For painting a picture of the world that we know is possible… For activating and sustaining the energy needed to, with love and hope, work towards rendering it as real.
“A revolution that is based on the people exercising their creativity in the midst of devastation is one of the great historical contributions of humankind.” -Grace Lee Boggs