A Day in the Streets of Balata

balata.jpg by Sura Faraj

Balata is a refugee camp, one of the most repressed and impoverished communities in the West Bank. The ISM is the International Solidarity Movement. Kelly Bornshlegel and Mika Minio-Paluello are ISM activists who lived in Balata and are coming home to tell the story. Since the second intifada, the people of Balata have seen full-scale military invasions by the Israeli Occupying Forces. Civilians, including small children, have been killed when IOF forces have opened fire on the camp with tanks and helicopters. Under this siege, military checkpoints, house to house searches, roadblocks, curfews and home demolition are all part of life in Balata. At one point, all entrances were sealed off and a complete media blackout was in force. But life in the camp goes on. Kelly and Mika are touring with a multimedia installation including video, sounds from the camp, graffiti stencils, photos, embroidery, children’s drawings and more. They will be on hand to answer questions, and hope to build links between people inside and outside the camp. Balata Multimedia Installation Wed. 4/28 – Thurs. 4/29 7 p.m. — Talk and Video Green Dragon Cafe 2010 N. Farwell Ave.
by Sura Faraj