In a poignant show of solidarity, Londoners came together last night for ‘A Night for Gaza’, a sombre event mourning lives lost and voicing support for Palestinians facing devastating Israeli bombardment.
Hosted by MEMO at the P21 Gallery, the evening provided a space for communal grief as artists and poets shared stirring performances reflecting on the tragedy unfolding in Gaza. Attendees described a sorrowful, moving atmosphere.
The event commenced with host Victoria Brittain’s reading of Mahmoud Darwish’s evocative poem ‘We Travel Like All People’, setting a reflective tone. This was followed by a haunting spoken word piece titled ‘Forgive Me’ that left many in tears.
I apologise if I only told your stories when they were the horror ones.
I apologise for only hearing your cries when they were screamed across the sea.
For writing poems of your people only when their names where etched in graveyards, or at
least should be.
Heartrending accounts conveyed the horror and desperation of Palestinians struggling to stay alive, yet somehow showing resilience, amidst the devastating Israeli bombardment over the past three weeks. Gripping testimonies from Gaza residents presented in chronological order captured the terrifying escalation from the start of the bombings.
Recordings of bombing noises and first-hand descriptions painted a horrific picture of the aggression unfolding. Moving poems gave voice to the chaos, horror, defiance, determination and desperation inflicted on Gazans. Readings by Palestinians conveyed the daily struggle to simply survive while dodging bombs.
A profound sense of despair and resignation regarding their plight permeated the eyewitness accounts from Gaza, along with urgent messages to the world beseeching intervention to end the grief and loss consuming the region.
Organisers from the Gaza charity, the Hands Up Project, also presented plays and artwork by Gazan youth, providing perspective into young lives upended by violence. The urgent messages from Gaza’s beleaguered children carried a heavy emotional weight, leaving audiences powerless.
Additional performers offered stirring poems and lyrics underscoring Gazan resilience and echoing worldwide pleas for the bombing to cease. Audience members listened solemnly, many in a state of disbelief at the scale of devastation conveyed through the poignant performances.
While grief pervaded the venue, so too did solidarity and a sense of catharsis as attendees united to bear witness to the unfolding tragedy. For three long weeks, Londoners have watched Gaza burn from afar; last night, they came together to mourn as one.
The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.