Friday, 5 November 2010

Olive Harvest - Olive War

Exhibition: Tuesday, November 9 to Sunday, November 21
Reception: Tuesday, November 16 at 7:00 pm

"Today, Mr. President, I have come bearing an olive branch and a freedom fighter's gun. Do not let the olive branch fall from my hand." Yasser Arafat at United Nations, November 13, 1974.

Montreal based photo-journalist Valerian Mazataud presents his photo essay "Olive Harvest - Olive War in Palestine" Valerian will be present to speak of his experience and to take questions at a reception on Tuesday, November 16.

Branches are cut, trees are burnt, harvests are stolen, and attacks are violent. Since 2000, Israeli NGOs such as Rabbis for Human Rights have denounced the violent acts committed by settlers during the olive harvest, a key period for farmers, families and the economy of Palestinian villages.

The olive harvest in the West Bank used to be a joyful time, but, for the past years, it rhymes with violence. Israeli media now refers to it as, the "Olive War".

On Bible's lands, symbols are all mighty. Stones against machine guns, children against soldiers. The Olive tree is an ancestral symbol of peace, uniting the people of the Mediterranean and beyond. Today, it has become not only the ground, but also the means and the issue of confrontations between Israeli settlers and unarmed Palestinian farmers.

Valerian Mazataud is freelance photo-journalist based in Montreal. He visited the West Bank during the fall of 2009, and chose to look at the Israel-Palestine conflict under the symbolic shade of the olive tree.

Need to know:
- Exhibit no charge
- Reception by donation: $10-20 sliding scale
- Sorry, not wheelchair accessible

Beit Zatoun is a non-profit art & culture centre located at 612 Markham Street (right by Bathurst subway).

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