Art Forces, the Estria Foundation and NorCal Friends of Sabeel present:


Oakland Palestine Solidarity Mural

  A public works and community-building project created by 12 artists from across the globe in the pursuit of illuminating the power of art to affect social change

Mural Dedication: August 10, 2014 1-4 pm

26th St between Telegraph and Broadway, Oakland CA

August 5, 2014--Oakland, Calif. The Oakland Palestine Solidarity Mural is a monumental work of public art located in Uptown Oakland on 26th Street between Telegraph and Broadway. The mural pays homage to the history of Bay Area public art and expresses solidarity with Palestinians as bombs continue to fall on Gaza.


The Oakland Palestine Solidarity Mural adopts the image of the tree as a central motif and global visual signifier to link seemingly disparate issues and distant locations. Spanning 157 feet and reaching 22 feet high, the mural is comprised of nine separate panels, where each artist or team of artists has painted his or her own interpretation of a tree to address social and political issues.


These issues include the shared histories of colonization, environmental exploitation, internal exile of indigenous peoples, resilience and resistance to these injustices. The mural dedication will be held on August 10, 2014 from 1-4 pm and is free and open to the public. The dedication will include poetry, music, traditional Palestinian dance, local stiltwalkers from LocoBloco and an art exhibit From Gaza to Oakland.


This exhibition includes artwork from Gaza artists and photo journalists responding to the recent assault; historical photos of the expulsion of Palestinians from what is now called Israel; print portfolios from Middle East Children's Alliance and work by muralists and friends of Oakland Palestine Solidarity Mural.


This exhibition will open in conjunction with the mural unveiling on August 10th and will run through September 30, 2014.

The twelve participating artists come from a wide array of backgrounds, ethnicities and cultures. They include Dina Matar, who is participating virtually (Gaza); IROT (Native American); VYAL (Chicano-Native American); Deadeyes (African American); Erin Yoshi (Japanese American); Susan Greene (Jewish American); Emory Douglas (African American); Nidal El Khairy (Palestinian); Chris Gazaleh (Palestinian American); SPIE (Asian American); Fred Alvarado (Latino American); Miguel Bounce Perez (Chicano-Pacific Islander American).


Each artist was given a broad design parameter to use within the tree motif, which is a common metaphor for life and a symbol of global commonality. From this simple directive, the artists have created imagery true to each one's individual aesthetic. The result is a public tribute to the human spirit and its unassailable right to thrive in spite of political oppression and injustice--wherever it is taking place in the world.


The seeds for the idea behind The Oakland Palestine Solidarity Muralwere planted in July 2011 when Art Forces and the Estria Foundation's #WaterWrites worked together with the Middle East Children's Alliance (MECA) on the MAIA Mural Brigade in Palestine. A group of American youths, artists, trauma therapists and activists traveled to the Gaza strip and the West Bank to paint murals about compromised water quality at different schools, and youth centers to raise awareness for the basic human right to clean water.

The murals were painted at the sites of water purification systems that were installed by MECA and provided clean water to more than 54,000 children and their families. Over the course of this process and in the proceeding years, the idea to bring artists from Palestine to the United States took hold and the Oakland Palestine Solidarity Mural became a reality.


In describing the goals of this public art project, Art Forces states:

The Oakland Palestine Solidarity Mural is a monument to joint struggle across movements and distances. In this era of globalization, all of our struggles for justice are intimately linked. Art Forces aims to contribute to social transformation by using art and media to build and strengthen relationships, activate public spaces and engage and move people to work for a better world.


The Uptown Body and Fender gallery, located across the street from the mural site, will host From Gaza to Oakland and an event series that will continue to expand the mural's themes, during the painting process and throughout the fall of 2014. These activities will maintain activity at the mural space, continuing to develop relationships, education and organizing action. All artwork in the exhibit will be for sale, with a portion of proceeds going to Gaza. For more,,


An audiovisual program is being developed to amplify the mural's themes and provide easy access to historical and narrative information for visitors who want to hear from the artists about each work and the project as a whole. When completed, visitors to the mural will be able to 'call the wall' as well as access and engage with a website that will provide contextual and historical information.


Partnerships with many activist organizations such as the Middle East Children's Alliance, the Arab Resource and Organizing Center and the American Indian Treaty Council will allow the Oakland Palestine Solidarity Mural to concretely support audience engagement with many different campaigns for justice.



AMED- Arab and Muslim Ethnicities and Diasporas Initiative at SF State, American Friends Service Committee, American Muslims for Palestine, Arab Cultural and Community Center, AROC, Art Forces, Buena Vista United Methodist Church, The Estria Foundation; Freedom Archives; Friends of Sabeel-North America, Interfaith Peace Builders, International Indian Treaty Council (IITC), Jewish Voice for Peace, International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network, Middle East Children's Alliance, Olympia Rafah Solidarity Mural Project, Palestine Youth Movement, Precita Eyes Mural Arts Center, SNAG Magazine (Seventh Native American Generation), Queers Undermining Israeli Terrorism, Black Alliance for Just Immigration, Dignidad Rebelde, and the Trust Your Struggle Collective.









The Estria Foundation (TEF) is a non-profit organization with offices in California and Hawaii. TEF creates art in public spaces locally and globally with artists, youth, educators, and activists in order to raise awareness and inspire action in the movement to resolve human and environmental issues. The Foundation's goal is to educate and engage youth on the intersections of art and movements for social


Art Forces (formerly Break the Silence Media and Arts Project) works in the intersection of trauma, memory, creativity, resilience and resistance, making visible the connections between struggles for social justice globally and histories that have been obliterated or forgotten. Starting in 2001, Art Forces has collaborated with grassroots organizations in Palestine's West Bank, Gaza and Lebanon to create public art projects aiming to educate and engage US 


NorCal Friends of Sabeelis a project of Friends of Sabeel-North America, a non-profit, tax exempt, Christian ecumenical organization seeking justice and peace in the Holy Land through nonviolence and education.



Akonadi Foundation, Left Tilt Foundation, Middle East Children's Alliance, and People's Life Fund.


For additional media inquiries or interviews with artists and organizers, please contact: Danielle Smith |

"The globe shrinks for those who own it; for the displaced or the dispossessed, the migrant or the refugee, no distance is more awesome than the few feet across borders or frontiers." 
-Homi Bhabha 
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