Free Ahed by Julie Mallis

Free Ahed by Julie Mallis

Medium: digital print

Size: 40 in x 22 in

Artist statement:

Jan. 31, 2018: Today is Ahed Tamimi’s 17th birthday. She grew up under Israeli occupation of the West Bank. She unapologetically fights against illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank near her home in Nabi, Saleh. She fought back against soldiers who hit her 15-year old cousin in the head with a rubber bullet. She will be tried in Israeli military court this week, which has a nearly 100% conviction rate. Happy Birthday Ahed. For my birthday (same day as Ahed’s), I’d like to share her story. As an American Jew, I have a freedom of movement and life in the state of Israel that a child like Ahed can never know, despite her close connection to the land that her family lives on in Palestine.

2021 update: Ahed served eight months and was fined after the result of a plea deal. She underwent a closed door military trial and was denied bail.

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The piece is composed of digital and photographic elements. In the foreground, there is a large, looming architectural shape partially comprised of bars that seem reminiscent of prison or cage bars that are distorted and oddly angled. This object is digitally created with a three dimensional appearance, and part of the object fades from neon green to red, and another fades from dark purple to red. This object is interposed on a slightly blurred photographic background of a scene in which a large building stands behind an area of trees, underneath a full moon hanging low in an early evening or early morning sky.