- Title: Art van adds a splash of colour to drab Gaza life
- Date: 4th June 2020
- Summary: GAZA CITY, GAZA (MAY 28, 2020) (REUTERS) POV OF ARTIST, AMMAR ABU SHAMALLA, CARRYING PAINTINGS IN HIS WHILE WALKING IN STREET TIME-LAPSE OF SHAMALLA HANGING PAINTINGS ON WHITE MINI-VAN (MUTE) WOMEN AND CHILDREN LOOKING AT PAINTINGS PAINTINGS HANGING ON MINI-VAN (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) PALESTINIAN ARTIST, AMMAR ABU SHAMALLA, SAYING: "We bought this van and took to the streets. This is the bus and we display paintings on it in the street, in public areas. We go to busy areas, markets, alleys. This is important for us in times of the coronavirus crisis, in order to make a living as a group of artists." PASSERS-BY LOOKING AT PAINTINGS SHAMALLA FIXING PAINTING ON VAN SHAMALLA SURROUNDED BY PASSERS-BY AND LOOKING AT WOMAN'S SMARTPHONE AND TALKING (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) INTERESTED BUYER, HADEEL AL-TANANY, SAYING: "Usually paintings are exhibited in international exhibitions. This is the first time that I see paintings being exhibited on a van. It shows that Gaza has creativity, new ideas, and that there are always new things in our lives." SHAMALLA PUTTING PAINTINGS ON FRONT OF MINI-VAN SHAMALLA TALKING TO WOMEN AND GIRL LOOKING AT PAINTINGS GIRL LOOKING UP (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) PALESTINIAN ARTIST, AMMAR ABU SHAMALLA, SAYING: "When we took our paintings to the streets at the beginning of the (coronavirus lockdown) crisis, we thought that showing paintings in the streets would not work. But we took the risk and decided to drive around in every area, to see what people would think." RAFAH, GAZA (MAY 30, 2020) (REUTERS) ARWA ABU SHAMALLA IN HER'S AND AMMAR'S ART WORKSHOP VARIOUS OF SHAMALLA DRAWING SHAMALLA RETURNING PENCIL TO HOLDER (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) PALESTINIAN ARTIST, ARWA ABU SHAMALLA, SAYING: "The drawings are inspired by nature and by our imagination. When we took them to the streets, there was a high turnout and support from people. We sold from 150 to 200 paintings." TIME-LAPSE OF SHAMALLA DRAWING BUTTERFLY (MUTE) SHAMALLA DISPLAYING PAINTINGS ALONGSIDE LIVING ROOM WALL (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) PALESTINIAN ARTIST, AMMAR ABU SHAMALLA, SAYING: "The resources available to us do not allow us to rent a place. The van costs much less." TOP VIEW OF SHAMALLA STAPLING CANVAS TO PAINTING HAND STAPLING PAINTING
- Embargoed: 18th June 2020 11:35
- Keywords: COVID-19 Coronavirus Gaza Rafah art artists exhibition gallery painting
- Location: GAZA CITY AND RAFAH, GAZA
- City: GAZA CITY AND RAFAH, GAZA
- Country: Palestinian Territories
- Topics: Art,Arts / Culture / Entertainment
- Reuters ID: LVA001CGYGWUT
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Every day Ammar Abu Shamalla adds a little colour to drab routine life in Gaza, loading up his camper van with pictures he displays and sells in the Palestinian territory's streets and markets.
He and wife Arwa, both jobless college graduates, did painting in their spare time before coming up with the idea of putting their hobby to more productive use.
There are no art galleries in the territory, run by the Islamist Hamas group since 2007.
However, some private and public institutions hosted exhibitions before the start of the pandemic, which has infected 69 and led to one death there.
Depicting mainly landscapes, flowers or portraits, Abu Shamalla and Arwa's paintings hang off the sides of the van, and he brings out more from inside once he has parked it and crowds gather.
Three other local artists are also partners in the project and over the past few weeks the couple say they have sold about 200 for between $4 and $10 each - comparatively large sums in a sealed-off community where the unemployment rate is around 50 percent.
(Production: Arafat Barbakh, Mohammed Shana, Suheir Sheikh, Mustafa abu Ganeyeh)
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