Parkour and breakdance in Gaza: a metaphor for political resistance to apartheid

Parkour in Gaza (Christopher Furlong:Getty Images) June 13 2015

There are many things you could say about this photo of a young guy in Gaza exhibiting parkour skills to kids at the Gaza breakdance crew headquarters in Gaza City: there’s the wondrous ways of cultural fusion with breakdance & parkour; the athletic prowess involved; the history & popularity of parkour & breakdance among Gaza’s young; the phenomenon of doing parkour against a backdrop of Israeli bombs & bombed out buildings. You could even just say the photo shows kids around the world are just plain nuts with all that daring–even in conditions of ethnic cleansing.

The Guardian-UK chose to approach this photo quite differently: as Israeli war propaganda. It said “The devastation across Gaza can still be seen nearly a year on from the 2014 conflict between Israel & Palestinian militants.” The Guardian isn’t being demur with the truth. On the contrary! They’re lying & choosing to cover for Israeli carpet bombing. Israeli bombing took out entire neighborhoods, hospitals, schools, refugee centers; the murderous bombers targeted children. Deceit is the character of propaganda & still the truth was out & over a million people protested genocide in Gaza in that “2014 conflict.”

What is extremely interesting is the cultural fusion of New York Black & Latino street dance & hip hop & the obstacle course training of parkour with Palestinians in Gaza beginning around 2005, just a couple years before Israel imposed the blockade of Gaza. Part of it is surely the international appeal of hip hop; but it also appears to be rooted in resistance, defiance, determination against extermination.
Comments by the founders of parkour & breakdance in Gaza are quite telling. One group describes their mission as “The power to break the siege by dancing, dreaming, & teaching humanity!!”

Another said, “We are not just dance…We are telling people about our situation & our lives. We mix drama into the shows to tell people about the suffering in Gaza.” And another said, ‚ÄúParkour makes us feel free…it gives us hope in this difficult situation in Gaza.”

Our fullest solidarity with the crazy-assed youth of Gaza. Please don’t break your necks.

(Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

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