On September 16, 2023, the Alrowwad for Culture and Arts Society, in collaboration with the Popular Committee in Aida Refugee Camp, hosted a remarkable event to illuminate the colossal art installation known as the "Moon Museum" by the globally acclaimed artist Luke Jeram. This event took place at the outdoor Return Theater adjacent to the apartheid wall in Aida Refugee Camp and witnessed a substantial turnout of camp residents and visitors who gathered to witness this artistic spectacle.
The "Moon Museum" is a world-renowned mobile art creation by the international artist Luke Jeram, with a diameter of seven meters, featuring intricate images from NASA's lunar surface. Despite multiple invitations to showcase this artwork in the occupying state, Luke Jeram made a poignant choice to present it within a refugee camp, standing in solidarity with the Palestinian people.
The moon was securely installed by a team of Palestinians who were trained by the artist during his recent visit to the West Bank, where he spent a week in Aida Refugee Camp, meeting its residents and gaining insight into their daily lives.
Luke Jeram expressed, "Everyone here bears the trauma of generations of oppression and torture. Sadness and anger are passed from one generation to the next. Through what I learned in Aida Refugee Camp about the Israeli authorities' treatment of Palestinians, I created an artistic testament to the reality of apartheid." He further added, “Despite my more than 25 years of international tours, I am well aware of how public art can serve as a civic, creative, and democratic space. Presenting my artwork in Aida Camp is a message of solidarity with the Palestinian people. I hope this artwork sheds light on the ongoing injustice in Palestine.”
The moon holds profound significance in Arab cultures, symbolizing love and beauty. For centuries, it served as a source of light for nighttime navigation in the desert. The Islamic calendar is based on lunar phases, and Muslims around the world use the moon to determine the timing of important religious observances such as Ramadan and Hajj. The moon sculpture allows us to shine a light on the ugliness, brutality, and injustice of the concrete walls that confine and restrict Palestinian communities. No one on this Earth should live under such a siege.
Dr. Walid Al-Khatib, Vice President of the Administrative Board of the Alrowwad Society, remarked, “For the very first time, residents of Aida Refugee Camp and the neighboring areas can see the full moon without it being obscured by the apartheid wall, tear gas smoke, rubber tire shadows, live ammunition, or the cries of the wounded. For the first time ever, the moon is close, not in the sky beyond the wall. For the first time ever, the moon comes here to comfort those in suffering and offer them hope for freedom and return.”
"Moon Museum" has garnered immense attention from visitors, camp residents, and neighboring communities who came to capture commemorative photos with the giant moon. The artistic teams from the Alrowwad delivered musical performances and folk dance displays under the illumination of the moon, which continued to brighten the camp's sky throughout the night.