Against the Wall: The Art of Resistance in Palestine
This stunning book of photographs captures the graffiti and art that have transformed Israel’s wall into a living canvas of resistance and solidarity.
Featuring the work of artists Banksy, Ron English, Blu, and others, as well as Palestinian artists and activists, these photographs express outrage, compassion, and touching humor. They illustrate the wall’s toll on lives and livelihoods, showing the hardship it has brought to tens of thousands of people, preventing their access to work, education, and vital medical care.
Mixed with the images are portraits and vignettes, offering a heartfelt and inspiring account of a people determined to uphold their dignity in the face of profound injustice.
Starred Review. In 2007, the elusive British street artist and activist Banksy initiated a collaboration in Bethlehem between international and Palestinian artists to draw attention to the Israeli wall built around occupied Palestine. In this elegantly realized photo book, journalist and photographer Parry combines images of the wall art, U.N. reports, and interviews with human rights observers and locals to critique the ongoing occupation and how the wall, specifically, facilitates the theft of land and water, the destruction of homes, and the extermination of Palestinian culture. Parry also reports that, while the majority of Palestinians welcomed the solidarity shown by Banksy and fellow artists, cultural and political sensitivities were not always in harmony with a project some saw as beautifying an object of oppression and horror. Nevertheless, the graffiti, painting, and stenciling speak with uncommon force and imagination to the injustice advanced and symbolized by the snaking concrete embankment, three times the height of the Berlin Wall and planned to be more than 700 kilometers long, that, in Banksy's words, "turns Palestine into the world's largest open prison." The greatest eloquence, however, remains in those Palestinian voices collected here who speak urgently to the human tragedy and resilience on display in the shadow of the wall. (Publishers Weekly)
“The wall stands as a dreadful symbol of oppression. The spirit of resistance may be strong but Palestinians need international support. I hope this book makes that more likely.” —Ken Loach, filmmaker
“This book will help eventually pull down the wall.” —Damon Albarn, Musician
“A singular achievement—both a stunning photographic essay of how Israel’s concrete wall has cut into Palestinian land and strangled whole communities and a powerful visual record of how local and international graffiti artists have battered it with their only weapons, paint and spray cans.” —Joe Sacco, author of Palestine and Footnotes in Gaza
“A remarkable book documenting a vast and ultimately self-defeating act of injustice. It records a growing series of creative and flexible responses to that injustice. . . . It is an angry, funny, determined reminder that nothing lasts forever.” —A.L. Kennedy, writer and comedian
“[The wall] is the largest protest banner the world has ever known. . . . By engaging with it practically and imaginatively William Parry has produced an outstanding example of cultural resistance.” —Ahdaf Soueif, author of The Map of Love
“A marvellous exposition of Palestinian wall art, evocative and compelling.” —Ghada Karmi, author of Married to Another Man: Israel’s Dilemma in Palestine
We Also Recommend Reading:
The Hundred Years' War on Palestine: A History of Settler Colonial Conquest and Resistance
Nine Quarters of Jerusalem: A New Biography of the Old City
Stranger in My Own Land, Palestine, Israel and One Family's Story of Home