SJP holds “A Child’s View from Gaza” art exhibit during Gaza Awareness Week

Maddy Mesa

A child's picture depicting a person behind barbed wire stands among other art created by Palestinian children at the social sciences building.
A child’s picture depicting a person behind barbed wire stands among other art created by Palestinian children at the social sciences building.Photo by Ryan Murphy.
20 pictures lined the SO building today. They depict blood and violence. In one picture, maimed bodies litter the ground while another image shows bombs dropping from the sky.

These are not photos, but drawn pictures from the children affected by the war in Gaza.

This week, Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) is displaying “A Child’s View from Gaza” art exhibit in the SO building as part of Gaza Awareness Week — a memorial week spent in remembrance of the lives lost in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict between December 2008 and January 2009 — which began on Feb. 4.

The exhibit showcases drawings by children ages five to 16 that will be on display until Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

The exhibit was conceived by the Middle East Children’s Alliance, an organization that advocates for children’s rights in the Middle East, especially those involved in Middle East conflict.

Gabi Aleksinko, senior and intercultural relations and social science major, was working the SJP table featuring the artwork today.

A poster informing students of the "A Child's View from Gaza" art display adorns the wall of the social sciences building.
A poster informing students of the “A Child’s View from Gaza” art display adorns the wall of the social sciences building. Photo by Ryan Murphy
“We feel that this perspective is very important, especially when you’re dealing with an already underrepresented and misrepresented people,” said Aleksinko, who is PR chair for SJP. “The children are the least represented of the least represented.”

Aleksinko went on to say that getting a child’s perspective on this issue is the least biased view on the situation.

“The children are not biased or affected by political justification for what’s going on to them,” Aleksinko continues. “They do not yet have the cognitive power to really understand the intricacies of the politics of the situation.”

While displayed in a busy spot on campus, very few students stopped to observe the exhibit. Most were taking their break from class sitting, studying, or reading. But Aleksinko remains passionate.

“We hope to spread awareness that these people exist,” said Aleksinko. “That they are being repressed and that we should be doing our utmost to advocate for the rights of children.”