Palestinian embroidery for liberation

An interview with Wafa Ghnaim about how art can support the movement for Palestinian liberation.

Palestinian embroidery for liberation
Photo of Wafa Ghnaim by Carlos Khalil Guzman.

Wafa Ghnaim is a Palestinian researcher, author, educator, and artist based in New York. Wafa is the founder of Tatreez & Tea, an educational arts initiative focused on the preservation, documentation and research of textiles in the South West Asia & North Africa region.

On Oct. 10, Wafa, along with collaborators Kat, Noor, and J launched a call to action, inviting artists to stitch Palestinian resistance patterns. These motifs include watermelons — a contemporary symbol of Palestinian resistance on social media, spoons — honoring six Palestinian prisoners who escaped an Israeli jail using spoons in 2021, and Handala — a character created in 1969 by political cartoonist Naji al-Ali  — with a Palestinian flag.

The goal is capturing and reflecting the present day Palestinian experience and flooding social media with solidarity, art and inspiration. “I didn’t want us to forget who we are, who we were as Palestinians,” she says. “We are a people of creation. We are a people of love and life and arts and culture.”

Watch the full interview below.

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