'The World is With Us': Art of the Palestinian Revolution

'The World is With Us': Global Film and Poster art from the Palestinian Revolution, 1968-1980 is a series of cinema and gallery events which took place in London. These are the first public outcomes of an on-going film research and preservation program managed by the Palestine Film Foundation.

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World is With Us-Far from the Homeland, Kais al-Zubaidi, 1969

About 'The World is With Us'

The cinema program and gallery program events explore film and graphic design by artists engaging with the liberation movement in a period characterized by both political volatility and creative exuberance. The film work presented spans militant, experimental, and newsreel productions by Palestinian and international artists active from Buenos Aires to Belgrade. Posters meanwhile range from early party-political pieces to iconic illustrations by renowned artists.

World is With Us-The Visit, Kais al-Zubaidi, 1970

Venues and formats

The project takes place in two venues and in two distinct formats.

Cinema program

The World is With Us opened with a weekend of screen events at London’s Barbican Cinema. The program spanned a diverse body of iconoclastic film – from early experiments by Palestinian militants to radical essays by U.S. Maoist collectives. It opened with a screen program at the Barbican Cinema, where some of the most striking films from the era are accompanied by daily screen talks with directors, composers, and more. With daily screen talks, this is a unique opportunity to explore a wealth of rare film in depth.

Gallery program

The Cinema program is followed by a gallery show at the Rich Mix venue, where further film was displayed along with a collection of posters from the revolutionary era. A series of public events including a symposium, a music performance, panel talks, and special screenings ran alongside the exhibition.

The exhibition presented thirty films alongside posters from the revolutionary era. The meeting of forms points to creative ties between these dynamic forms of political expression. The exhibition’s design was inspired by film depictions of early PLO information bureaus, with their disorderly array of technologies, artworks, and office paraphernalia (as seen in With Soul, With Blood, Palestine Film Unit, 1971).

World is With Us - Palestinian Film Festival - London 1

Poster reproductions have been made using scanned originals provided by the Palestine Poster Project Archives. An exhibition publication containing film notes, interviews, and artist biographies were available over the course of The World is With Us.

Director talks, panel discussions, film screenings, and a unique music performance ran alongside the exhibition.

Why 'The World is With Us'?

The project took its name from a poster made by Muwaffaq Mattar for the Fatah movement in 1980. (Below; the red text reads "The World is With Us," the upper text marks the "fifteenth anniversary of the launch of the revolution.") Mattar’s poster stands out for the simplicity of is graphic and rhetorical content, the filmic echoes of its laurel motif, and the internationalism of its six-language rendition of 'Palestine.' Resonant with the project in each respect.

World is With Us-Muwaffaq Mattar, 1980

The PFF Research and Preservation Program

The World is With Us is the first public outcome of a long-term research and preservation program managed by the Palestine Film Foundation.

This larger program is designed to identify and safeguard rare or vulnerable film related to Palestine. Its remit is international and extends beyond the specific period or thematic focus of this first public exhibition. As part of this program, the PFF is already carrying out work on a wide range of films from various periods and places in order that these be made available for future exhibition, and preserved longer-term.

This program involves a significant on-going investment to sustain research as well as to carry out costly processes of film scanning, translation, or restoration. The PFF relies on the support of project sponsors, private donors, and in-kind contributors to meet these demands. The amount of work that can be accomplished, the rate at which vulnerable film works can be preserved, is directly linked to the amount of support the program enjoys.

Source: The World is With Us

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