at the lab
We Won’t Leave

9 January – 30 April 2024

Experts say the war on Gaza is now among the deadliest and most destructive in recent history, far surpassing the death toll and displacement inflicted by the Israeli Occupation during the Nakba of 1948—this by the “most moral army” in the world. 

We Won’t Leave is an installation by artist Suha Shoman that confronts the war waged on Gaza by the Israeli military, as well as the war on arts and culture unfolding around the globe. It is an archival arrt project unfolding on the walls of the Lab at Darat al Funun, presenting a visualization exposing the de-humanizing and criminal rhetoric that has led many to call this war a genocide

The text-based installation is centered around the shocking calls made by Israeli generals to “Obliterate, Eradicate, Annihilate” and “Statements by Israeli Leaders 1948-2023”, in which they deny the existence of the Palestinians and describe them as beasts. It also archives the war on culture and documents names of artists, curators, cultural activists, and journalists from Palestine and the world who have been targeted, silenced, or threatened for expressing their support for Palestine or for taking action against the suppression of Palestinian voices and Palestinian art. It also includes a full listing of cultural places, archaeological sites, and heritage sites that have been destroyed in Palestine to date.

The project includes:

- A poem by Mahmoud Darwish, Those who Pass Between Fleeting Words.
- A video of a lecture on the history and origin of the Nakba by historian and researcher professor Walid Khalidi.
- A book documenting the history of Palestine,
Palestine the Martyr, 1921-1938.

The installation captures a moment in the trajectory of this war, which has been ongoing for 75 years, and unfortunately continues in complete defiance of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. 

The project represents a call to action inviting all cultural institutions worldwide to come together in solidarity, to join us in amplifying Palestinian voices, to engage actively with Palestinian artists, and to share resources and speak in one voice in opposition to the atrocities being committed against the Palestinian people. This is the first in a series of programs, talks, workshops, and activities that will continue to contribute to this archival project, inviting collaborators, historians, researchers, curators, and cultural activists.