An anti-Israel artist of Palestinian descent not only refused to show his work alongside Israeli pieces, but also falsely claimed that he was booted by the organizers for protesting.
Shadi Alzaqzouq refused to display his work at Dismaland Bemusement Park – a parody of theme parks in southwest England – upon learning that Israelis were also participating. Alzaqzouq covered his pieces, replacing them with a message of protest.
According to an initial report in the al-Araby al-Jadeed news site, the artist was booted from the site for staging the protest.
“I found out when arrived at the show that three Israeli artists were taking part, one of whom served in the IDF. I got upset that I hadn’t been informed and tried to complain to the organizers. I was told someone would meet with me but after over an hour of waiting no one came to meet with me,” Zaqzouq told al-Araby.
“I decided I had to protest in some way, so I went and got a bed sheet from my hotel room and wrote ‘R.I.P Gaza: Boycott Israel’ on it in coal and hung it over my artwork and laid down like a corpse in front of my two paintings on display,” the 34-year-old said.
After half an hour, security guards approached Alzaqzouq to inquire about what was going on.
“I didn’t pull out of the show. I just wanted to send the message that I was protesting – but they didn’t like it and gave me the boot,” the artist claimed.
However, Al-Araby al-Jadeed later learned that Alzaqzouq had not told the truth and that the organizers did not remove his work.
Rather, they posted a note, stating, “The artist has decided to cover his work to protest being exhibited alongside artists from Israel. We are hoping to resolve the situation as soon as possible and apologize for any disappointment.”
Alzaqzouq, grew up in Libya, moved to Gaza after the signing of the Oslo Accords in 1993 and now lives in France.