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Disarming Design – Watermelon Flag


Design: Khaled Hourani
Manufacturer: Druk bedrijf (NL)
Size: 100 x 70 cm
Material: 115gr., 100% recycled polyester

Following the 1967 Six Day, the Israeli military forces unilaterally criminalised the flag of Palestine — and Palestinians were forbidden to use its colours of white, red, green and black in imagery and art. In 1980, Israeli forces arrested three artists at a gallery in Ramallah for violating this military order. To which artist Issam Badr responded: “Well if I paint a flower with these colours, what will you do?” And the officer responded: “It would be confiscated. Even if you do a watermelon it will be confiscated.” Then actually, the watermelon became a symbol of Palestinian resistance.

After the Oslo accords in 1993, the order was not completely revoked, neither has the Israeli occupation of Palestine ended. Artist Khaled Hourani borrowed from this officer the idea for the ‘Watermelon flag’, not to admire his ill imagination, but to commemorate the legacy of resistance to the prohibition of the Palestinian flag. Hourani originally made the design for the Subjective Atlas of Palestine in 2007, to then wave it at many exhibitions worldwide. During the 2021 Palestinian uprisings, the flag has been produced as an effective alternative flag, to wave until the occupation ends.

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