Amid the multitude of striking posters and banners at the historic 200 000 strong SA March for Gaza on Saturday 9th August was a distinctive piece of artwork created in honour of Palestinian children. The colourful banner – Remember Gaza’s Children – tells the story of Gaza’s brave youth, killed in the Israel military bombardment since July 8th. The UN children’s agency Unicef said children make up for 34 percent of the 1959 deaths .
The aim of the banner, spearheaded by a dedicated group of community members, was to remember the children as children, and not just as statistics.
Behind the scenes
The Remember Gaza’s Children initiative started on the afternoon of Thursday 7 August, when the community came together in a garage, to prepare and paint the banners. The banners’ material and paint supplies were all sponsored. People who heard about this initiative just arrived to help. Palestinian students living in Cape Town were also part of our group.
The community returned on Friday afternoon to continue painting and preparing the Remember Gaza’s Children banner. Because there was more material and art supplies donated, the activists were able to create five additional banners. All the designs and slogans were brainstormed and painted by the community.
On Friday evening, just before sunset, the banners were placed outside to dry. Here are some of the community members of the group of painters, with the completed banners.
On the day of the march on Saturday, the activists assembled with the balloons and banners, and joined the BDS march to Parliament with 200 000 people, in solidarity with Palestine.
The banner rearing to go at the start of the march in District Six.
At the conclusion of demonstration at Parliament, the artists received recognition for their work as the banner was displayed to the crowd. The organising team said the process of creating the banner was an “amazing community initiative” and thanked the artists for their support.
“I am grateful to the community who came together overnight to make this idea to Remember Gaza’s Children a reality. The support was overwhelmingly positive. I feel inspired by the commitment of the community to stand in solidarity with the suffering of the Palestinians, especially the women and children killed in Gaza,” said project coordinator Shireen Mukadam.
“We hope that this creative nonviolent initiative will help to honour the children of Gaza, and will inspire others to undertake similar nonviolent actions. Let us transform our feelings of anger, helplessness and sadness into something positive and powerful. We may not be able to end the conflict in Gaza but we can do what we can, in our own capacity and with what resources we have available, to make a difference.”
The banner will be displayed in public areas around the city, so that people can read the names of the children who have been killed in Gaza since 8 July. Today, the banner is at the Stegman Road Mosque in Claremont for Jumuah. VOC