The University of Windsor's Palestinian Solidarity Group is hosting a small-scale art exhibit this week (November 19 to 23) at the university's CAW Student Centre Commons. Entitled "A Child's View from Gaza" (ACVG), the exhibit features drawings by Palestinian children living in Gaza and has been toured extensively throughout North America.
Originally conceived by Philadelphia-area Palestine activist Susan Johnson, ACVG's mission is to "raise awareness of Gaza and Operation Cast Lead". Operation Cast Lead refers to Israel's twenty-two day military offensive on Gaza in late 2008.
The drawings featured in the ACVG project come from many different sources, including refugee camps, neighborhoods that were destroyed and other areas that were untouched during Operation Cast Lead. All of the drawings featured in the exhibit were created by children from ages five through fourteen. Due to the difficulties of getting the pictures out of Gaza, artists of several drawings are unknown.
The children were instructed to draw about one of three different themes for their drawings: Israel's military offensive on Gaza in 2008, life in Gaza, or their hopes for the future. The process of coordinating with children centers in Gaza to the delivery of the drawings to North America took nearly a year, accredited by organizers to Israel's blockade on Gaza.
The Windsor exhibit was put together by Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJMPE). When asked whether the Windsor exhibit was organized to coincide with the current ongoing Israeli offensive in Gaza, the organizers grinned and uttered a lamenting "no".
CJPME has been touring the exhibition across Quebec and Ontario since March 2012. The exhibit will be featured in the CAW Center at the University of Windsor until Friday.