Handala of Liberty

Translation / Interpretation / Caption Text

Ridikkuluz, a queer Jordanian-American artist living and working in New York, models the iconic Statue of Liberty after Handala, a symbolic and iconic character developed by Palestinian political cartoonist Naji al-Ali portraying a 10-year-old refugee with his back turned to the viewer. Al-Ali was only 10 years old when he was forced to leave Palestine, and specified that Handala is frozen in time and will only turn around and face the world once Palestinians are able to return to their homeland.

“The pacifist gesture of putting your hands behind your back as your world blows up in flames, is the Palestinian resistance personified,” Ridikkuluz told Hyperallergic in an email. “In this specific take, I put the Statue of Liberty, which symbolizes freedom, in a keffiyeh and posed like ‘Handala’ with her hands behind her back and her flame dimmed to have a bigger conversation.

Existence is the best resistance after all.”