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  • Writer's pictureBeyond the Canvas

Palestinian artists: Laila Shawa (1940 - 2022)

Born to a wealthy Gaza family, Laila Shawa studied art in Cairo and in Rome. In the early 1960s, she traveled to Salzburg to study with the Austrian expressionist Oskar Kokoschka.

The written language frequently features in her work, as seen in her 'Walls of Gaza' series, to which this image belongs. This series focuses on the messages of hope and defiance that ordinary Gazans had spray-painted on the walls of their city.


As reported by Save the Children, and as confirmed by the Ministries of Health in Gaza and Israel, since October 7, more than 3,257 children have been reported killed, including at least 3195 in Gaza, 33 in the West Bank, and 29 in Israel. The number of children reported killed in just three weeks in Gaza is more than the number killed in armed conflict globally – across more than 20 countries – over the course of a whole year, for the last three years.




Target, 2008

© Laila Shawa

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