Many are calling for peace in regards to the Gaza conflict. Some protest from their home towns. Some speak to the public, carrying on an ongoing mission, which teaches the importance of reaching a point in communication that promotes mutual respect and understanding. Some carry on social media campaigns and others still, circulate images which seem to reflect upon the same cause.
One such circulation appeared on July 22 at the Facebook page for Artparasites Magazine. The page posted images of a Palestinian gardener who arranges rows of used tear gas containers and uses them to plant flowers. The images have been trending on Facebook and on Twitter, many months after the story had initially surfaced, renewing interest in these potent photographs as the Gaza conflict continues. The results of the gardener’s efforts are impressive and memorable.
The gardener is a villager of Bilin who plants flowers into the tear gas containers and places them, by the hundreds, on recently reclaimed Palestinian land. Because she is so close to the tumult, as the land is still disputed, there is no lack of little pots. Many of the canisters are planted in the ground while others are hung on the fence which marks the Israeli barrier.
The tear gas shells are remnants from efforts to break up Palestinian protests along the barrier. The Guardian reported that the repurposing of the tear gas shells into receptacles for living flowers serves as a memorial for a protester who was killed in an earnest declaration of peace in 2009. “The powerful imagery evokes hope in the face of challenge and reminds us all to appreciate the beauty of life,” stated The Guardian.
“The use of a weapon as a plant vessel is a powerful comment on a region in which many people on both sides are tired of the seemingly never-ending violence and conflict,” wrote BoredPanda. The site went on to note that an Israeli artist has been doing something similar by crafting metallic roses made from Palestinian rocket remains. “I take the Kassam Rocket, the instrument of death and I change it, I transfer it into something of beauty,” the sculptor, Yaron Bob stated on his website.
The artist’s aim is to continually create these roses which “symbolize Israel’s desire for peace, while helping terror victims.” By sending a portion of the proceeds from his roses to aid the city of Ashkelon, the artist helps in the building “above-ground, portable bomb shelters.” His reasoning for choosing Ashkelon is because the city is large, has very few bomb shelters, and is within close range to missiles fired from Gaza. Also, because of their lack of precision, the missiles fired endanger not only those civilians who happen to be near targeted objects, but also endangers the civilians who are near the rocket from where it is fired.