Launch of Oceans of Injustice

Posted by Caabu on 17 May 2017

The official launch of Oceans of Injustice, hosted by Caabu and Native Liberty Productions, took place on 16 May 2017. Two short films and an audio journey were screened at the Courthouse Hotel Cinema, London. Following the screening Chris Doyle chaired a Q&A session with Lord Warner, a crossbench member of the House of Lords, and Farah Nabulsi, writer and producer of the films.  

“For Caabu, ending the Israeli occupation is particularly significant, as we too mark our 50th anniversary this summer, founded 50 years ago on the terrace of the House of Commons.  Nobody back then I am sure would have imagined that that occupation would last five decades and counting.” – Chris Doyle

Chris Doyle noted that the film launch took place during “a poignant moment in Palestinian history”, as the 69th anniversary of the Nakba passed the day before, on Tuesday 15 May 2017. “Palestinians across the globe were, as refugees, diasporised - when 70% of the Palestinian population fled their homes; and hundreds of villages were demolished. It is a Nakba that continues to this day - in loss of land, demolitions, blockade and occupation,” he said.

The films reflected the daily struggle of injustices experienced by the Palestinian population under Israeli occupation. The emotive reality that many cannot gain from reading news reports was captured by the intensity of the film.

“We think we know, and we think we feel with them, and we think we understand the injustice because we’ve read some book or some not so biased or quite so censored article or because we’ve heard from a friend. But there is so much more,” Farah expressed in the first film, Oceans of Injustice. She uses the ocean as symbol of how little we actually know about the injustices felt by Palestinians on a daily basis. We see the heads of ordinary Palestinians floating above the water, whilst beneath the surface they tread the water, trying to survive.

The audio journey, The Nightmare of Gaza, required all to close their eyes and visualise the Israeli attack on Gaza in 2014. The destruction within the city, the panic spreading around the protagonist, her desperation to reach her aunt’s house to check up on her family, her utter and complete loss at the situation facing her; these emotions were followed by those attending.

The second short film, Today they took my son, followed a mother’s reaction to her son, a young boy of around 10 years old, being taken away by Israeli forces for trying to defend an old lady and her granddaughter whilst their house was being demolished. The mother’s memories of her son’s birthday, his youthfulness and boyish charm contrasted with the shots of his arrest.

The audience’s reaction to this particular film included a comment by a Palestinian man, who told of how he was arrested multiple times as a minor, the first of which was when he was 10 years old. “I knew I would come back from prison a hero,” he said. “As I lay in my cell, I thought of my mother and her tears. I knew she also could not sleep whilst I was gone, whereas my father would be in a deep sleep.”

Other questions and comments related to whether UK parliamentarians were aware of the cruelties of the Israeli occupation and whether more can be done about it. Lord Warner said that British MPs and the Government needed to feel “uncomfortable” about Palestine in order to be motivated by the issue. Both he and Chris Doyle urged those in attendance to contact Parliamentary Candidates ahead of the General Election, more information about which can be found on Caabu’s General Election resource page.

You can read more about Farah Nabulsi here and watch one of her films here at Oceans of Injustice.

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