In Retrospect: A conversation about 10 years of Palestine solidarity activism in Toronto
Panelists: Naomi Binder Wall, Sue Goldstein, Nahed Mansour, Mohammed Mohsen, Khaled Mouammar
Organized and moderated by: Gita Hashemi
The 10th anniversary of the Second Intifada also marks the 10th anniversary of the Friday vigil in front of the Israeli Consulate held by Women in Solidarity with Palestine (formerly Jewish Women's Committee to End the Occupation, JWCEO). As we observe these anniversaries on the occasion of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, we ask:
How has our work related to the events on the ground in Palestine-Israel and how has it changed? Where are we now and where do we want to go with our activisms?
As the dynamics in Palestine-Israel have evolved and events unfolded over the past ten years we have witnessed both continuities and changes in the directions, the politics and the faces of solidarity activisms in Toronto. In this conversation we open a space for reflecting on the diversity and the intersections of our local solidarity activisms in the last decade.
Please join us and participate in a stimulating and productive conversation as our panel of activists share their perspectives on some of the key events, moments and formations that have shaped Palestine solidarity activisms in Toronto.
Naomi Binder Wall is a long-time social activist and educator with more than 30 years experience as a community-based organizer. She joined the Jewish Women's Committee to End the Occupation (JWCEO) in 1989 and is currently a member of Women in Solidarity with Palestine, the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network, and Independent Jewish Voices. She has collaborated with others to maintain the anti-Occupation/anti-Apartheid Friday vigils in front of the Israeli Consulate building in Toronto for 10 years.
Sue Goldstein is a New Yorker transplanted to Toronto. A graduate of OCAD, she finds that her art veers towards the political and her activism erupts into art. As a member of Women in Solidarity with Palestine, formerly the Jewish Women's Committee to End the Occupation, she has been part of the weekly vigil in front of the Israeli consulate for ten years. She is also involved with Queers Against Israeli Apartheid, Independent Jewish Voices, and the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network. Sue is currently working on a graphic novel about her last visit to Palestine, Jewish identity, and the issues around solidarity and witnessing.
Nahed Mansour is an artist, curator, and organizer. Her involvement with Palestine solidarity organizing began in 2003 through her work with Al-Awda- Toronto and the Arab Student's Collective at U of T. She has been involved with organizing Israeli Apartheid Week in both Toronto and Montreal. In 2009, she helped establish the Each Hand Fund, which brings in Palestinian and Arab artists to present their work during Israeli Apartheid Week. Named after Reena Katz's project 'each hand as they are called', the Fund is meant to spur dialogue around issues of repression, representation and resistance through art. Nahed recently completed her MFA at Concordia University.
Mohammed Mohsen is an emerging visual artist, with experience and involvement in several art organizations. As a student, Mohammed was involved with student politics and activism at the University of Toronto and at OCAD University (where he served as the 2007-08 OCAD Student Union chair).
Khaled Loutfi Mouammar has over 30 years of experience with organizations including the Arab Palestine Association, Arab Community Centre of Toronto, Urban Alliance on Race Relations and Canadian Ethnocultural Council. Khaled has served as a Board Member for the Immigration and Refugee Board from 1994 to 2005 adjudicating on refugee claims. He currently serves as the National President of the Canadian Arab Federation and is registered as a consultant with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. Khaled holds a Masters of Business Administration from the University of Toronto and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mathematics from the American University of Beirut.
Gita Hashemi is an artist, curator, and writer. She was the founder and coordinator of Creative Response, a collective of artists in solidarity with Palestine (2001-06). In 2003 she was the artistic director of Negotiations, from a Piece of Land to a Land of Peace, a 10-day art-driven multidisciplinary solidarity event including the international exhibition Will at A Space Gallery. She was an active member of Women for Palestine (2001-2005, originally Women Against the Occupation), and is currently working with Women in Solidarity with Palestine. Hashemi has taught time-based art and new media at York and University of Toronto, and is a contributing editor to Fuse Magazine.