This spring marks the 70th anniversary of the Nakba, or the Palestinian exodus, which left more than 700,000 Palestinian Arabs homeless after the 1948 Palestine war. A unique and powerful tribute to this historic event, which made an indelible impact on the Palestinian community, Palestine in Black and White by world-renowned editorial cartoonist, Mohammad Sabaaneh, is a collection of 100 political cartoons that take readers through intimate aspects of their life under occupation.
Having being widely acclaimed since February 2018, when it was put up on book shelves by publisher Saqi Books, this first collection of artworks that include cartoons that portray the experience of Palestinian prisoners, drawn while Sabaaneh himself was detained in an Israeli prison, is being regarded by critics of the highest repute as incisive and multi-layered.
This is made amply clear by one of the shortest praises the book received from The Daily Star Lebanon, which said: “[Sabaaneh] Narrates real stories of Palestinians.”
Targeted by Israeli occupation authorities for the opinions expressed in his art, Sabaaneh was arrested in February 2013 and incarcerated in an Israeli prison for five months. During this period, he was not permitted family visits or allowed to speak to his relatives on telephone. The prison authorities forbade him from drawing or writing in the first couple of months of his prison sentence. The idea for this book came to Sabaaneh when he was spending two weeks in solitary confinement.
This collection brings together one hundred of Sabaaneh’s most striking works that do not flinch from revealing the reality that confronts Palestinians, from Israel’s injustices in the West Bank to their military operations on Gaza.