COMMENTARY | Sliman Mansour: The Sea is Mine

The entrance hall of the Museum of Contemporary Art Metelkova, +MSUM, houses Commentary, a series of mini exhibitions that allow artists to comment in a variety of media, formats, and ways of expression, on certain crucial moments and developments in the contemporary political landscape worldwide. This year, the series is dedicated entirely to Palestine.


We are currently presenting the work of the Palestinian artist Sliman Mansour entitled The Sea is Mine (2016). Sliman Mansour is a painter, sculptor, author and cartoonist, considered a leading figure among contemporary Palestinian artists. His paintings, which have been exhibited around the world, reflect the Palestinian struggle. In 1987, he was part of the New Visions collective with artists Vera Tamari, Tayseer Barakat and Nabil Anani, a collective formed in response to the First Intifada (1987–1993).


The artist kindly granted Moderna galerija permission to print his artwork and display it as part of the Commentary series. Thanks to Fares Mansour and Yazid Anani.



The Sea is Mine: A woman, a girl, and a boy raise their hands high and march along a beach. They hold a pen, a paintbrush, a rifle, an olive branch, and the Key of Return, while a white dove soars above them. The backdrop captures a beach scene where people are engrossed in relaxation and leisure, seemingly oblivious to this determined small demonstration.

Mansour ensures the inclusion of fundamental elements of the Palestinian struggle within the painting. While the pen and paintbrush symbolize creativity, the rifle signifies resistance, and the olive branch and white dove represent peace. The key stands as a symbol in the Palestinian struggle for the right of return for refugees. Through this painting, Mansour conveys a steadfast commitment to carry forward the Palestinian resistance in all its manifestations, even amidst the world’s self-absorption and inattentiveness to the Palestinian plight. (Rana Anani)