Palestinian artist uses his days in prison to draw paintings – Middle East Monitor

While spending eight months in an Israeli prison, Palestinian artist Mohammad Aziz Atef, 26, took graffiti art to the next level, using coffee and other simple materials to paint on the walls of his prison cell and the available paper, Anadolu News Agency reports.

Talk to Anadolu Agency To mark World Youth Skills Day on Friday, Atif, who recently served his sentence, said drawing paintings gave him a reason to survive dark days inside prison.

“These paintings and my skills were my way of saving myself inside the prison. The prison is a well-structured space to kill you with your energy, because there is no way to give this energy to the universe , so it can kill you,” he said.

Sitting in the living room of his home in Ramallah, surrounded by dozens of paintings, Atef said the paintings saved his life.

The artist, who used to paint graffiti on the walls using fine Arabic calligraphy, found himself without a brush and without paint when he was imprisoned. But he decided to pursue his passion, using all the equipment available in the prison cell.

Atif was arrested last year in November by the Israeli army at his home in the town of Birzeit, north of Ramallah in the central West Bank. He was sentenced to eight months in prison for his activities described as “threats to security”.

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Now released from prison, just a few days ago, he is now working on launching a gallery that will include his works while in prison.

Israeli prison authorities do not allow any special tools for painting. Atif therefore had difficulty obtaining papers, either by buying them at exorbitant prices in the prison canteen, or by smuggling them in from outside.

Atif said that for the colors and drawing of the picture, he used dry pens, pencils, stationery as a ruler, and coffee to paint hundreds of his works. He used highly concentrated coffee as a pigment to change the color of the papers.

These paintings tell different stories either about the Palestinian cause or about the families of his fellow prisoners in prison.

“I spent the nights drawing, painting in my prison cell under a table lamp. I painted the names of my fellow inmates and their families, with poems related to their special days and sent them as gifts when the families came visiting them. It made me happy, it saved me mentally and emotionally,” he said. Anadolu Agency.

Atef expressed himself through 53 paintings, 13 of which were confiscated by the prison administration during inspections.

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