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Holding Palestine

7 days performance, May 2021


In May 2021, students of Piet Zwart Institute – which is managed under WDKA and Hogeschool Rotterdam – were faced with silencing and censoring, as they hung a banner in solidarity with Palestine. This Banner which was initiated by students among them  Christian Ovesen, Emma Astner, and Diana Al-Halabi, was taken down by the security guards of Hogeschool Rotterdam,

Students gathered to take further actions against the neutral stance of the school, among those actions was: 

- a statement against the censoring of freedom of speech and the neutral stance of the school especially when it comes to Palestine, this statement announced the student's decision to hang the banner again,

- a student protest that marched from Erasmus University, passing by WDKA and ending up in Piet Zwart Institute.

- An Alternative working Assembly was collaboratively planned with some tutors from WDKA against the closed meeting that the school invited students to in order to discuss the recent events.

Many other actions were taken on an individual level, like radio shows, hanging Palestinian flags from the windows of the studios, etc.

The school policing became so excessive, security guards kept visiting the campus building on an hourly basis. Weeks of back and forth confrontations, students such as Christian Ovesen and Emma Astner decided to use the watermelon symbol of the Palestinian flag in order to hang another banner. The banner was taken down one hour later.

The reason was: Nothing is allowed to hang from the building. 

I initiated the "Holding Palestine" performance in response to the school's reasoning of "nothing is allowed to be hung".

This 7 days performance, invited artists, tutors, and supporters to come to hold the banner in rotation: every two artists held the banner for an hour, 10 hours a day, for 7 days.

Reading broadcastings, discussions, podcasts were organically held on the stairs.

For further documentation of this performance and the events that happened inMay 2021,  visit the Instagram account of 

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