Stop Artwashing Settler Colonialism

Analysis / Interpretation / Press

After Israeli Culture Minister Miri Regev wore a dress celebrating Israel’s conquest of Jerusalem at Cannes yesterday, social media lit up with parodies. The redesigns include an added separation wall into the Old City scene, air strikes over Gaza, soldiers raiding a Palestinian home, and a tribute to leading hunger striking prisoner Marwan Barghouti.

The original gown has an image of Jerusalem on the skirt, showing the Old City and the iconic Muslim site the Dome of the Rock. It was created by Swedish-Israeli designer Aviad Arik Herman.

Herman posted pictures of Regev at Cannes on his Instagram account (the original photos are credited to Eli Sabati), prompting some to reply critically of the design. While Israel sees Jerusalem as its capital, international law does not recognize the conquest of territory through acts of warfare. East Jerusalem, the part of the city drawn onto the dress, is considered an occupied territory.