The touring exhibition
and the catalogue are likewise the result of a collective effort of
rather different people. The fact that we came together has got little
to do with the art of designing posters in the first place. Certainly
the choice of the exhibited posters was accompanied by heated arguments
on formal aspects as well. But these arguments, in favour of or against
certain creative proposals, always lead to discussions of political
In the forefront
stood solidarity on an international level. Jihad Mansour has been creating
political graphic art which was mostly published by the Popular Front
for the Liberation of Palestine PFLP. His work tells of many bitter
stages of the struggle for liberation and for the return of innumerable
refugees to their country. He designed posters which should be understood
by the people living in the occupied territories in Israel, as well
as by those living in the refugee camps in Syria, Jordan and Lebanon.
They should be understood by all those who often knew their homeland
only through the stories told by their grandparents. At the same time
the posters should help to strengthen the will to continue to fight
for liberation. But the images created should also be understood by
the solidarity movements in countries abroad, so they could use them
for their particular work.
Since the fall of
one of the super powers and the proclamation of a «new» imperialistic
world order by the other one the situation for the struggles for liberation
in the periphery (Trikont) has become extremely difficult. In spite
of all these unpleasantnesses they are carried on even if they are increasingly
screened from Western headlines and the minds of the Western Left as
well. Once a proud swan internationalism appears to be more likely a
plucked chicken nowadays. Many comrades who were supporters once have
begun to sneak away from our i.e. their common history. But not so Jihad
Mansour. A fact that leads us straight to the question of actual solidarity.
Marc Rudin, aka Jihad Mansour, is part of our own history. Together
with many among us he set out at the end of the sixties with love an
joy and with the radical claim to bring together thinking and acting.
The task of course has been to overthrow capitalism. But our hopes of
the time have run aground first of all and what remains is a stock of
experiences which is worth not being forgotten.
In 1979 Marc Rudin
hardly managed to escape from Swiss police to live in exile henceforth.
The separation happened abruptly and was a painful experience. But for
him it was at the same time the beginning of a very productive period
of his life. He was a political refugee unlike many of those today whose
flight takes them from the periphery to the centres. He was warmly welcomed
by a people whose consciousness was formed by the bitter experience
of exile. He was not forced to hide his face nor had he to deny his
story and become silent. He even managed to take roots. But he was uprooted
again at the end of 1991.
Exposed to the
glaring spotlights of Turkish police, a bundle of his belongings beside
him on the floor: we were startled by the news and the picture of his
arrest. We would have hardly recognized him in the street - but he still
seemed to be the same. His presence in our minds demands at least now,
as he is deprived of the ability to act, that we come to terms with
ourselves and with our history. We've got to ask ourselves the harassing
question how we could reactivate internationalistic solidarity as an
opposing force to the threatening national egoism of today and how we
could live simple practical solidarity with political prisoners.
This means solidarity
as well with Marc Rudin who has been handed over to Denmark where he
shall be tried for having allegedly not restricted himself to fight
with pen and brush.
Hopefully the following
pages might bring about some of the discussions that the life of resistance
of Marc Rudin, aka Jihad Mansour, has set loose. We are glad that he
himself was able to help with the concept of the exhibition and with
the choice of the posters through correspondence.
Interview with Jihad
[Part 1] [Part 2]