Although her family was originally from Yaffa, Lina Abojaradeh never got to see her motherland. Born in Jordan after her father fled during the takeover of the West Bank in 1967, she was raised in Arizona, USA. Now studying architecture in Amman, the 20-year-old artist explains how she gives shape to the land her dreams yearn to see.
What does it feel like to paint a homeland that you have never visited?
If Zionism hadn’t been created, I would have been born and raised in a free Palestine. I feel like something was robbed for me. It is a big part of who I am, and I yearn to be there. But Palestine is beyond the physical land. I feel like Palestinians who had to leave or have never seen it carry Palestine inside them. And I’d like to think I would love Palestine even if I weren’t Palestinian, as a worldwide cause and symbol of freedom and justice.
What inspires you?
I like to challenge myself with trying to draw realistic paintings or drawings. It is a way to try something new and develop my skills. At the same time, most of my paintings are for causes. I like my paintings to have a story and a message, whether they are about Palestine, anti-smoking, anti-war, or anti-bullying.
And where would you like to see yourself in 10 years?
I hope to have made a name for myself in the art world by then. Maybe I would have garnered a following big enough to publish an art and poetry book. I’d like to travel and inspire others about the importance of art as resistance.
Regarding that concept, how do you think you artwork can achieve social impact?
The ideology of Zionism includes erasing the Arab Palestinian identity. There are some people who even believe that there are no such thing as Palestinians, that the Jews were given an empty land. So by incorporating Palestinian culture in our art, we are resisting their attempt to wipe off Palestinian credibility. We’re also making Palestinians and their suffering known and relatable to others worldwide, we’re showing the side of the story that won’t be shown by mainstream media. Through art you can provoke emotion, you can evoke sympathy and hope. Through art you can raise money and save lives.
Pushing the boundaries of creative drawing, Abojaradeh goes beyond Palestine themes to create this speed painting videos, such as this watercolor diamond drawing:[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tw0PxWH_6a0]
For more information: Visit her Facebook page and check out these 5 other Palestinian artists that transformed the way we see Gaza.