The Occupation of Rasha Eleyan: Zaghrouta Solidarity

Addicted Art Gallery
3 min readMay 3, 2023
Zaghrouta Solidarity, 2023

With her vibrant and colourful paintings that blend pop art with touches of photorealism, Rasha Eleyan is a rising star in the art world. Her bold, eye-catching pieces have captured the attention of both art enthusiasts and collectors.

Rasha’s artworks are not just aesthetically pleasing but also offer her perspective on contemporary culture and society — specifically the Middle East. Through her art, Rasha explores themes such as cultural heritage, using her distinctive style to convey powerful messages that resonate with viewers on a deep emotional level.

Rasha is adding her voice to a cause that has had a bearing on who she is her whole life — Palestine. And she’s doing it in her unique pop art style.

In the words of the artist…

“I’m born to refugees. I come from a place without bright colours or hope. So I was drawn to material my father had lying around, like the movie Fantasia. I began to copy the drawings in these animation books that my father had, and I became a good cartoonist. But it was Roger Rabbit that affected me. I became obsessed with the play between humans and cartoon characters, and you can now see that in my work. I combine cartoon or pop art with the hyper-real.

“For many years, I have found inspiration in zaghrouta as a form of defiance in my work. Recently, my inspiration was renewed by the wave of photos spreading on social media of defiant Palestinians smiling at the camera while being beaten and humiliated, handcuffed under the threat of detention and eviction.

“My new series sheds light on the vital role of Palestinian women in revolting against the occupation. I am highly inspired by the Arabic saying “revolution is female”, which, while commonly used in the Middle East nowadays, is mainly associated with Palestinian women.

“The women of Palestine have been boldly flocking to the streets with fire in their bellies to protest domestic and international issues for generations.

“Palestine is an old woman. She’s a mother with a big stick whipping everyone into shape. Women are constantly out on the street protesting things and raising the alarm. Not just about seizing land and Israeli settlements but things like taxes and education.



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