We already knew yesterday that today we would head back to paint the wall. Not in the same place, of course. We didn’t want to let anyone know before, because it’s silly to worry anyone. Plus, the wall had already been part of our plans, it was something we had already decided to do.
So, since yesterday we had began to paint the hotel wall, but couldn’t finish it because there wasn’t enough light, we had to get up at 7 to finish what we aimed to do. In the end, we finished painting at 10.30 am. Then back to the bus, 30 minutes at the check-point, and then a journey of 2.5 hours.
We get to Qualquylia and they take us to the wall. A police car escorts us, and our car is driven by the head government security officer. During all of this, the rest of the group was occupied with workshops and programmed activities.
We get to the spot. Dead animals, empty huts, a ditch, and the wall, which is reinforced by sloped blocks of cement, making it perfect for putting up ladders and stretching out our calf muscles.
The idea for the wall is the following: pick up from where we left off on the slogan which they didn’t let us finish (Make a New Reality), with ‘Rojo Sangre’ as a base, ‘Rojo Claro’ for the outline, ‘Verde Géminis’, and filled in with ‘Turquesa’. Afterwards, Den painted the face of a baby, smiling and with bright eyes, and tones of pinks, orange, and brown, which reinforces the idea of the slogan.
Beside that, there’s a piece by Yubia, with the typical smiling faces, which contrast the military pattern, with pastel colors.
Later on, Makoh created a piece with separate letters, with lots of arrows and neutral colors, enlivened by yellow. And I did a simpler piece this time, almost without any background.
The wall is made of cement and, aside from some pro-Palestine writing, it is completely bare. At first we wanted to use plastic, but it’s not so easy to find. Thankfully it wasn’t necessary, the 94 covers really well.
We finished the wall of with ‘Don Gato’ again as the protagonist, in a piece with the slogan ‘Eat Your Ghost’, which symbolizes the necessity to overcome our ghosts and fears. We use the same colors: ‘Azul Tornado’ for the outline, filled in with various shades of yellow, light gray, and ‘Verde Bali’. We colored the background with various shades of orange and red. Don Gato in style of the ghosts of Pac-Man. ‘Amarillo Canarias’, ‘Rojo Fiebre’, and ‘Verde Java’; with a black outline, and green background which we blended in the most effective and basic way; with bubbles.
This is what you’ll see in the photos. What you won’t see are the people grabbing cans of paint, painting their names on the wall, and swarming around us. Nor will you see the musicians playing guitar alongside us…
You’ll also miss out on seeing us working as quickly as possible, trying to beat the time-limit of the permit which was only valid for a few hours, and the Israelis who threatened to show up at any moment. Lots of tension, even when we were packing up, as we hurriedly drag ourselves away. And once more “coitus interruptus”. The pieces are barely finished.
More tension on the bus: checking to see if we left anything; cameras or documents… no, nothing.
It’s 6 pm now: we eat falafel on the return bus to Belen. The tension lowers… but only for a moment. This time at the check-point they keep us for longer. Two soldiers get on the bus to check our passports again, and one of the Sahwari women is asked to get off. It seems that there was a problem with one of her stamps. We’ve not yet grown accustomed to all of the weapons nor the faces of these people, despite seeing them so regularly. We’re finally let pass and continue our journey to Belen.
Text: Musa. Pictures: Mamba Negra.