Friday, March 30, 2012

DAM | Dedication

While we seem to be on this rap kick, here's an album from 2006 that seems to be completely out of print now; though Amazon lists an MP3 version, it's (at least currently) "unavailable." Fitting, at least symbolically, I suppose, considering that DAM is a Palestinian rap group who rap primarily about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

As Tamer Nafar explains in an interview on Democracy Now here, "dam" means "eternity" in Arabic and "blood" in Hebrew. "So it’s eternal blood," he explains, "like we will stay here forever."

Here's a comic I drew back in 2005 in response to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, using text collaged from Iraeli poet Yehuda Amichai and Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish:

The imagery, as you've probably figured out, is a kind of swirling-together entanglement of Arabic and Hebrew script, an idea my soon-to-be ex-wife suggested I use. (A rather brilliant idea that, at first, I balked at, worrying it would be beyond my skills to render legibly.)

Little has changed since I drew that comic, since DAM released this, their first CD.

Listen to "Da Dam"

Get it all here.


Hammer said...

Nice post, even when this Palestinian rap band 'DAM' has laid their rapping moors last year to start a campaign at IndieGoGo (raising around 13K USDs for the new album), and totally forwent music.

DAM is the first three initials of the band's members gang-names, and they had it on a whim as to depict the blood-shed (not eternity nah, that's another Arabic/Hebrew word FYI) going on since the early 40's of the last century in Palisrael.

All said, DAM is an angry word that other Arappers use (Sam bi'Dam; a song by Lebanese fem-rap artist Malikah which means 'Poison In Blood').

They're not the only Pali-rappers: there are a ballpark figure of 200 hip-hop, rap and free-form rapoetry crews around Palestine alone. The best of these is Ramallah Underground featuring rapper boikutt and their outfit Tashweesh ('Distortion').

Rap as we all know... sucks worse than a box full of leeches, but when it's being taken into an art form, that's when it stops the suckathon. All said, DAM as a crew of wannabe hip-hoppers and rappers that still do suck with a deafening sound.


Note: that comic drawing is nice in how you've entangled both Hebrew and Arabic letters. By the way, the two Semitic languages share almost 90% of their alphabet letters in both, phonemes and shape. Still, few Palies or Israelis (if any) know this as a fact.

Also worth mentioning here that today is Land's Day: a remembrance of how Israeli forces took most of the so-called '1948-land' in 1978, and there are news of a millionic... march from the Egyptian, Lebanese, Syrian, and erm Jordanian borders going at the moment towards Israel. Shit's gonna hit the fan soon: walk... don't run.


Holly said...

I love your comic, Gary.