Tarzan and Arab: the Gaza artists determined to make it against all odds

Posted filed underFilm, Palestine.


Despite a lack of training, equipment, funding or an audience, Gaza’s twin artists are determined to succeed as film directors

Harriet Sherwood in Gaza City reports for The Guardian: “They are determined to succeed as film directors, yet they have never been to a cinema. They studied fine art at university but have never been to a gallery. They would have much in common with young conceptual artists in London, New York or Paris, but they have never left the tiny Gaza Strip.

Tarzan and Arab, identical twin artists who have made an award-winning short movie and a remarkable set of cinema poster pastiches, are undeterred by the lack of training, equipment, funding, a place to show their work or a receptive audience.

“As artists we are restricted by living in a conservative and tough community,” says Arab. “Let’s be realistic. Our life is under siege, under control. People don’t have time for art. They spend all their time looking for crumbs. They say, ‘What use is art? Art will not give you bread.’ ”

Colorful Journey – Trailer

The 23-year-old brothers are determined to build on their achievements and pursue their dream of studying at a film school abroad.

Tarzan and Arab – real names Ahmed and Mohamed Abu Nasser – cut unusual figures in Gaza. Their hair is long, they wear Converse All Stars smuggled from Egypt through the tunnels, and tangles of beads and chains hang around their necks.

Their father, a headteacher, used to paint in his free time and his interest in art influenced the twins. He bestowed nicknames on his sons which have stuck into adulthood, and now are their professional soubriquets.

Tarzan and Arab also paint and sketch, but since childhood they have been drawn towards cinematic art. “We used to pass the [old] cinema and see the scorched, peeling posters on the wall, and we were sad and wished we could go in,” says Tarzan.

Instead they decided to create their own posters, ones that would reflect “Gaza’s suffering, Gaza’s problems, the daily issues of the people,” says Arab.”

Read on at The Guardian where you will also find a short video documentary about the twins.

Hompage – Gazawood

There is also this Youtube Channel with more videos.