Among the most-recognised and distinguished Palestinian artists is Suleiman Mansour, known most-famously for his 1973 work Camels of Hardship depicting an old porter carrying Jerusalem on his back.
Mansour, who was born in 1947 in Birzeit, has tailored his comprehensive portfolio around the Palestinian struggle, portraying peasants and women in traditional dress in his early work. During the first Intifada against Israeli occupation (1987-1993), Mansour and other artists in the ‘New Vision’ art movement started in 1987 boycotted Israeli supplies and used local materials like mud and henna in his work. For Mansour, art aids the continuation and revival of Palestinian identity, particularly as it captures images of the land and people working in the land. By keeping roots in the ancestral homeland, Mansour enables Palestinians to continue to lay claim to it.
Mansour – also a cartoonist, art instructor and author –has contributed greatly to art education and promotion in the West Bank. He is now regarded as a pivotal cultural leader in Palestine. Co-founder of the Wasiti Art Center in Jerusalem, Mansour’s work has been exhibited in Palestine Israel, the United States, Japan, Korea and across the Arab world and Europe.