Guardian promotes exhibit featuring ‘Intifada dresses’

A Guardian article reports on an exhibition at Kettle’s Yard in Cambridge, titled “Material Power: Palestinian Embroidery”, which is described as “the first major exhibition of Palestinian embroidery in the UK for over three decades”.

The piece (“Rebellious robes and stitches from the civil war: the radical story of Palestinian embroidery”, July 16), written by Safi Bugel, includes the following:

As much as the history of Levantine embroidery is one of female resistance and labour, the exhibition includes embroidered objects made by men held as political detainees in Israeli prisons, who use the medium to express both national pride and affection for their family members.

The term “political detainees” is an extraordinarily propagandistic euphemism for Palestinians convicted of violent, terrorist offences being held in Israeli prisons, one that obscures the often vicious crimes of the inmates.  It suggests that the Palestinians in question are akin to ‘political prisoners’.
Tellingly, the exhibit itself (as a YouTube video interview with the curator, Rachel Dedman, on the Kettle’s Yard website, demonstrates) similarly glorifies violence.  At one point, Dedman speaks of a collection of “Intifada dresses“, which you can see in these images from the video:
Interestingly, our Arabic department has prompted corrections at BBC Arabic to articles which employed variations of the Arabic term for “detainees” to refer to Palestinians in prison for terror offences.  The word was changed to the more accurate “prisoners”.
We’ve contacted Guardian editors asking for a similar correction.
Related Posts
Written By
More from Adam Levick
Fiction Alert: Palestinian “political prisoners” and a Guardian “Business” section
“Facts are tricky things too. One person’s fact is another person’s opinion...
Read More
Join the Conversation

1 Comment

Leave a comment
Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *