May 22, 2008

video: "writings on the walls"

[de] [es] [it] [fr]
this short film documents many racist, sexist, humiliating and insulting graffiti that lebanese soldiers had written on the walls of the houses in the destroyed palestinian refugee camp of nahr al-bared.
while many graffiti are directed against the non-palestinian islamist militant group fatah al-islam and its leader shaker al-abssi, others address the palestinian refugees. in some cases, the destruction of the camp is portrayed as a revenge for massacres committed by palestinian militias in the lebanese civil war.

the graffiti can be understood as instruments of psychological warfare and as an additional method regarding the political strategy of the lebanese army to demoralize the refugees and keep them from returning to their destroyed camp. however, the graffiti also illustrate the frustrations and personal attitudes of the soldiers during the fighting. almost 200 soldiers were killed in the 3-month battle.
as a reaction to related reports in the lebanese media, the army has covered many sprayings and drawings with paint.

this 7-minute film was produced in winter 2007/08. also in the houses that the military has handed back to their owners in spring 2008, such graffiti can be found.

for security reasons, only an anonymized version of the film is published. it can be downloaded here (.mpeg/235mb) and here (.mov/86mb) in good quality. also, it can be watched here on youtube or below.