Our website is under re-construction. You can still find submission information for
Free Palestine: A Convergence of Voices, below.
Mahmoud Salameh, Syria @salameh_art.
‘Art provides a window, poetry too’, Mahmoud Salameh, artist and animator, Naarm 2023
FREE PALESTINE: A CONVERGENCE OF VOICES
This project/action has been developed on unceded sovereign Wurundjeri Country. We acknowledge Elders, Traditional Custodians and peoples of Wurundjeri lands, sky, waters and languages, and your continuing practices of resistance. We acknowledge First Nations sovereignty throughout this continent.
We are grateful for conversations with and guidance from Mahmoud Salameh and Dr Paula Abood while developing this project, and for guidance from the articles, poetry and statements referred to below. Gratitude to Dr Margaret Mayhew for editing.
INVITATION TO SUBMIT
We invite you to submit a poem, short prose (up to 800 words), song or artwork that builds solidarity with and uplifts the voices of Palestinians. We invite you to join us in creating a convergence of voices in support of a Free Palestine.
We are looking for poems, short prose (approx 800 words) and artwork. We are accepting submissions from now until the 20th of December 2023 and will begin publishing on a rolling basis from the end of November 2023.
For Palestinian and First Nations contributors we invite you to submit short prose (approx 800 words), poems, songs or artwork.
For non-Palestinian and non-First Nations contributors, please read this carefully.
- It is important you read the articles below under ‘Guidance’.
- Part of why we developed this project was to create a space where non-Palestinian writers, poets and artists enter into processes of learning whilst unlearning colonial, white supremacist language and image so to counter current media representations in so-called Australia. We are doing this by encouraging you to engage deeply with the work of Palestinian writers, poets and artists.
- We then invite you to submit prose(aprox. 800 words), a poem, song or artwork informed by the writer, poet, artist, artwork you have chosen to engage closely with.
- We ask you to send in the work you are engaging with alongside your own work – ensure you include references and attend to copyright. We will publish both.
- You will find a list of Palestinian poets, writers, journalists and artists we know at the end of this post. It is most definitely not exhaustive.
Your submission should include a short bio (50 words) and a short bio or reference, social media handle (with date and time of post) or similar for the creator you are responding to.
We are accepting previously published work as well as new work.
PLEASE ENSURE YOU READ THE WIDER SUBMISSION DOCUMENT
Email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
We are guided by the following statements and articles. It is important that you read these as they inform this project and our action. We also suggest you read our statement at the end of this post.
Randa Abdel Fattah, In the face of western hypocrisy, the people stand with Gaza, New Arab.
Steve Salaita, To the people of Gaza and all of Palestine, No flags, No slogans.
Indigenous Solidarity with Palestine, The Red Nation.
Hirak Au, Youth statement, Stop Israel’s genocide, end the war on Gaza. Overland
HOW DO WE PUBLISH?
Your work will be published in our online journal Convergence-s as part of the Writing Through Fences project, Free Palestine: A convergence of voices.
Publication is as a ‘rolling project’ which means work will be published over the months of November and December as it comes in.
We will also be publishing on our instagram writing_thru_fences
We anticipate other publications and projects will promote and republish with attributions. Please contact us if you are interested.
Please note: We are hoping to publish much of the work we receive but we do not guarantee publication of your work.
Writing Through Fences is an unfunded collaborative project. Although we usually have a strict policy of paying participants for their work through donations received from individuals or crowd funding, we are unable to offer payment to those with citizen privilege. First Nations and Palestinian contributors and those without citizen privilege will be paid $50 for each published work. Please indicate when you submit your work.
SPREAD THE WORD
Thank you for being part of this convergence of voices in support of a Free Palestine. We are hoping you will invite other artists, writers, poets and musicians to contribute.
Eghbal Asadi, Hani Abdile, Rose Ertler and Janet Galbraith, 7 November 2023.
Eghbal Asadi, Palestine, Acrylic on canvas, 2023
WRITING THROUGH FENCES: ACTION STATEMENT
Founders of Writing Through Fences are horrified and heartbroken by the genocidal force of Israel fully unleashed against Gaza and the whole of Palestine.
We are appalled by much of the media coverage around Israel’s genocide against Palestinians and are committed to resisting the silence and propaganda of this colony; propaganda which promotes dangerous narratives of white supremacy enabled through structures grounded in the brutality of occupation and Indigenous dispossession.
Many of us know well how narratives are used to demonise and dehumanise. We also know their material and bodily effects. We follow Palestinian journalist and co-founder of We Are Not Numbers, Ahmed Alnaouq, in calling out the violence of much mainstream media and, we add, publishers, ‘Most of the mainstream media in the West has always been complicit against the Palestinian people… The blood of my family is on their hand’ -@AlnaouqA
Founding member, Hani Abdile often reminds us that ‘language can heal and language can harm’.
Free Palestine: A convergence of voices, is an offering of solidarity with Palestinians and an acknowledgement of the vibrancy of Palestinian arts and literature. It is also an offering we hope will mobilise non-Palestinians to untangle the racist colonial histories we/they have been fed and centre Palestinian voices and knowledges. It is an offering we hope will help to counter the harmful language of Australian media, and that of the ideological West, that is mobilised in the interests of continuing the settler colonial project.
We demand CEASEFIRE NOW, land back, right of return and justice.
We demand truth telling, treaty, land rights, prison abolition and justice.
From the river to the sea, always was, always will be.
– Eghbal Asadi, Hani Abdile, Bernadette Ryan, Sriharan Ganeshan, Rose Ertler, Mohammed Boush, Farhad Bandesh, Jenell Quinsee and Janet Galbraith, 7th November 2023
Follow apan.org.au and bdsmovement.net and Loud Jew Collective on instagram or Facebook for information on direct actions. Follow Overland Literary Journal for accurate and insightful reporting, creative content and commentary overland.org.au.
A short and certainly not exhaustive list of Palestinian poets, journalists, writers, and visual artists. We invite you to send us names of people whose work we do not yet know. Thanks.
Some journalists/videographers in Gaza
Bisan IG – bisan_wizard1 / @Bisanouda1
Youmna ElSayed @YoumnaElSayed17
Motaz Azaiza @azaizamotaz9
Maha Hussaini @MahaGaza
Wael Al Dahdouh @WaelDahdouh
Hind Khoudary @Hind_Gaza
Noor Harazeen IG – noor.harazeen
Ahmed from #Gaza @madhoun95
Refaat in Gaza @itranslate123
Muhammad Smiry @MuhammadSmiry
Some poets and writers
Sara M Saleh
Tasniim Mahmoud Sammak
Mosab Abu Toha
Abdul Rahman Katanani
Devin G. Atallah
Naomi Shihab Nye
Some visual artists
Shireen Abdul Kareem
Samar Abu Elouf
‘Through Fences’ Harkirat Singh and Janet Galbraith, Djaara Country, 2014
About Writing Through Fences
“No one can give us a voice and no one can take our voice away. Our voices are ours and we do with them what WE will” (Habib Saleh. 2014)
Writing Through Fences is a collaborative project and a loosely woven community evolving through art, music, writing and poetry. As project and community we grew out of an online creative relationship between a writer who had asked for asylum in so-called Australia and been immediately incarcerated in one of the colony’s immigration prisons under the egregious ‘Operation Sovereign Borders’, and a white writer, descended of Scottish settlers, citizen of so called Australia. Over time this creative relationship grew and eventually seeded other creative relationships. A network formed.
Writing Through Fences began in the Kulin Nation and has grown throughout the occupied lands of so-called Australia, sovereign lands that always were and always will be Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander lands. As migrants, asylum seekers and other non-Aboriginal citizens we do not support the colonial occupation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander lands and commit to learning from and respecting First Nations peoples, lands, waters, skies, cultures and languages. We do not support so-called Australia’s extra-territorial reach, exploitation of sovereign lands, disregard for their people, and creation of immigration prisons in Papua New Guinea, Nauru and Indonesia.
Writing Through Fences situates our creations as resistance to the racist, settler colonial systems that attempt to contain, silence, and divide us. We value connection. We share resources, ideas and languages. Our words, music and art breach borders and fences. We create. We connect. And we remember.