24 February 2007

Support the Edward Said Mural

The General Union of Palestine Students at San Francisco State University has been working on getting a mural approved for their university campus; the mural pays tribute to the late Dr. Edward Said and to Palestinian culture. The proposal went through committee and student government and university board and received support, but just before the final step of approval, university president Robert A. Corrigan prematurely denied the mural and placed a moratorium on all art at the San Francisco State University Student Center.

What objections did Corrigan have? He stated that the University's policy is to allow for celebration and pride in one's heritage and culture "expressed without hostility or denigration of another" (culture).

Please take a look at the mural proposal above, and try to find what Corrigan is referring to. For deeper scrutiny, you can even go here for a written description of the various elements within the mural.

Did you find anything remotely "hostile" or "denigrating" of other cultures? Look again. You see, it seems Corrigan does not like to look upon the face of Handala, the refugee child icon created by assassinated Palestinian cartoonist Naji Al-Ali, even though Handala's face is turned from the world. Nor does he want anyone on his campus to see the key that Handala is holding. These are the two elements in the mural with which Corrigan had problems. I guess it is because they are the two elements within the mural that
reaffirm Palestinian national memory and the real focus of the human rights of the refugees.

After initial support from university officials and students, the mural is in jeopardy from Corrigan, and needs your immediate help. Take action now by signing the latest online petition, writing a letter to President Corrigan from you or your organization, or financially supporting the legal process.

Refere to the links below:

Sign the petition: General Union of Palestine Students - San Fran

Article 1 by Will Youmans at Kabobfest Blog

Article 2 by Will Youmans at Arab American News

Dr. Fayeq Oweis, designer of mural proposal


Bashir said...

It is frustrating how biased some of these "learned" can be, and how come they are the ones who are in control and are in the administrative positions.
Is is some form of trade off?

transient said...

IBJ, there are more issues than those you've listed. It has nothing to do with what's in the mural, as you know from our sparing days at wsu. And of course there is no neutrality or equal standard. regardless of what he believes, he just an method of delivery

Leila said...

By coincidence I just received an email from San Francisco State's alumni association (I finished my BA there). I replied immediately that I would not be supporting the association with any money until I hear that the mural issue has been resolved with respect due to Arab and Palestinian students. What a freaking travesty. I'm really steamed. Corrigan is a reactionary.

Golaniya said...

Edward Said during his life did suffer from raciasim and discrimination, and now he is while he's in Brummana laying peacefully. It is a shame how scholars like him receives such "uncivilized" treatment. I'll sign the petition soon now. Great job, I'll post this in my shared items on my sidebar.

Meanwhile dear, you've been tagged:-)