Ashland Public Library in the Gresham Room
7pm, Thursday, June 23
Deb Van Poolen will share stories and pictures from her journeys to Ladakh, India (in the northern state called J&K) and Palestine (the West Bank occupied territory) and describe volunteer opportunities in each region.
Deb lived in Ladakh, India (on the northwestern end of the Himalayan range bordering Tibet) a total of two years. She volunteered with ISEC (localfutures.org) and SECMOL (secmol.org), participated in planting and harvesting of barley and wheat, and hiked throughout Ladakh. Deb first went to Palestine (2013) via a grant to "make art about life under occupation". On her second trip (2016) she volunteered as an artist for the Palestine Museum of Natural History (palestinenature.org).
Rasmea Odeh is a 67 year old Palestinian American community leader who was brutally tortured in 1969 in an Israeli prison. The people who tortured Rasmea have not been investigated for their crimes against her. Instead, Rasmea has been charged with a crime against the US, twenty years after the fact. This is a prime example of the United States support for the unjust, apartheid regime of Israel.
Rasmea Odeh was convicted for the crime of lying,twenty years ago, on her citizenship application regarding her torturous arrest in Israel. On March 12, 2015, Odeh was sentenced to eighteen months in prison and a fine of one thousand dollars. In addition, Odeh's US citizenship has also been revoked and she faces deportation to Jordan. The 67-year-old remains free on bond and can stay in the United States pending her appeal. Rasmea Odeh is at home in Chicago and preparing for her appeal in a Cincinnati courtroom.
Debra Van Poolen made courtroom sketches in January 2015 at the trial of former CIA analyst Jeffrey Sterling. Please see these articles which showcase Van Poolen's art from the trial:
Debra Van Poolen's drawings from the Chelsea Manning Trial were shown at Artprize in Grand Rapids, Michigan from Sept. 24 to Oct. 14, 2014. ( www.artprize.org ) Van Poolen's watercolor paintings and drawings from Palestine were exhibited at the Jerusalem Fund Gallery in Washington, DC from January 16 to February 13, 2015. ( www.thejerusalemfund.org )
Video of Debra Van Poolen's talk at opening of her show"Natural History of Palestine": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NpEaE5xhz0I
Video of Dr. Steven Salaita's talk "Natural History Under Siege" which was presented on the closing day of Van Poolen's show "Natural History of Palestine": http://www.thejerusalemfund.org/ht/display/ContentDetails/i/50687/pid/223
Van Poolen's drawings from Chelsea Manning's trial were chosen for the Juror's Shortlist of five two-dimensional entries from the field of 900 total 2-D entries.
Media coverage of the Juror's Shortlist entries:
Chelsea Manning's court martial provided a grand opportunity for the world to understand more about the policies of the US military. But cameras were not allowed in the courtroom of the historic trial and the proceedings, which began on June 3 and ended on August 21, 2013, were mostly ignored by world's mainstream media. Van Poolen contributed to the citizen-initiated efforts to get the truth out to the publc. Deb attended each day of the trial and produced drawings of Chelsea Manning, the defending attorneys, the witnesses for both sides, Judge Col. Denise Lind, and members of the attending publc. Deb's drawings and paintings were regularly featured on the Private Manning Support Network website as well as in other publications such as rt.com and popularresistance.org.
Artwork from the Chelsea Manning Trial
In Spring of 2013 Deb received grants from the Western Carolinians for Peace and Justice in the Middle East (wcpjme.org) and a St. Louis-based war tax resisters group to produce artwork about the experiences of Palestinians who since 1948 have been enduring illegal occupation of their homelands by Israeli Defense Forces.