Palestine's Oasis Of Artistic Freedom

Bashar al-Hroub gouges a square of chipboard with a chisel until the image of a woman's genitals emerges. The 27-year-old Palestinian artist is making prints for an exhibit that will highlight "things that are forbidden in our society," he says. Denounced in his own village near Hebron as immoral, al-Hroub came to this town of more than 100,000 citizens to join a new generation of artists whose focus is surprisingly free of the nationalism and violence for which Palestinians are usually noticed.

The relative freedom of expression in Ramallah has fueled a major revival, since last year, of...

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