A project by Students for Justice in Palestine at the University of California, Berkeley, Facing Apartheid is part of an effort to educate the campus community on its connection to and responsibility for illegal military occupation and apartheid policies that directly and systematically impede access to higher education for Palestinian students in the West Bank, Gaza and 1948 Palestine.
These quotes and photos were collected from Palestinian students at universities inside the West Bank, Gaza and 1948 Palestine. Each student was asked to address the UC Berkeley campus community directly in speaking about the obstacles they face in achieving a higher education due to the illegal occupation and/or apartheid policies of the Israeli state.
The physical wall displaying 18 of the 52 portraits was erected on campus during Israeli Apartheid Week in the spring semester of 2010.
Inspiration for the visual design of the wall developed as a response to a marketing campaign launched by the University of California, Berkeley administration. In the fall semester of 2009, the University erected a wall of students' faces in a central location on campus. The ethnic diversity portrayed on the wall was grossly misrepresentative of campus demography. Accompanying each face were quotes by the students glorifying the University of California. For example, one of the quotes reads, "Berkeley has given me more opportunities than I could have ever imagined".
The wall was placed near the original wall erected by the University in order to call attention to a contradiction between the University's messaging and its actions. UC Berkeley presents itself as a bastion of educational opportunity while obstructing access to education for Palestinian students by investing in companies who profit directly from illegal occupation and apartheid policies.
Questions? Send us an email at questions AT facingapartheid DOT org.