‘The Little Prince of Gaza’ at the Dalloul Art Foundation Beirut

The Little Prince of Gaza exhibition, organised by the Ramzi and Saeda Dalloul Art Foundation (DAF) in collaboration with the Palestinian Museum in the West Bank, Palestine, is a profound dedication to the innocent children of Gaza affected by the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict. This exhibition transcends traditional art displays, serving as a memorial, narrative, and tribute to over 20,000 young lives lost, ages zero to eighteen, while also honouring the enduring hope within Palestinian culture.
The Little Prince of Gaza – Exhibition. Courtesy Dalloul Art Foundation

Inspired by Chaouki Choukini’s 2010 bronze sculpture, “Small Prince: Child of Gaza,” the exhibition sheds light on the broader Palestinian cause and specifically addresses the conditions faced by Palestinian children. Against the backdrop of the 2023 Israeli aggression on Palestinian civilians, The Little Prince of Gaza provides a platform to amplify the voices of children, often marginalised within the conflict.

The central sculpture, “Small Prince: Child of Gaza,” positioned on a podium, concretely represents the destruction occurring in Gaza. The cubist style materialises the incongruity of a child perpetually stuck in shock, reflecting the fragmentation of children’s lives under occupation. While aspects of the piece embody tragic reality, the carved heart symbolises hope, with the little boy looking toward the future, emphasising the resilience of life.

The Little Prince of Gaza – Exhibition. Courtesy Dalloul Art Foundation

The exhibition’s title, The Little Prince of Gaza, pays homage to Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s Le Petit Prince, drawing parallels between the innocence of the little boy in the book and the innocence of Gaza’s children. It challenges viewers to recognise the importance of whimsy and adventure for Gaza’s children while acknowledging the harsh reality conveyed by the sculpture’s construction.

The Little Prince of Gaza – Exhibition. Courtesy Dalloul Art Foundation

In contrast to mainstream Western media narratives rationalising military actions, the exhibition challenges the notion that one set of lives is more valuable than another. It also invokes Niccolò Machiavelli’s The Prince, highlighting the distorted justification for rulers to set aside moral considerations for personal gain.

‘The Small Prince: Child of Gaza’ stands against this distorted Machiavellian spirit, affirming that the dismissal of ethical considerations has concrete consequences. The exhibition displays a different reality, confronting viewers with the harsh experiences of the Palestinian people and emphasising the importance of empathy, understanding, and hope.

The Little Prince of Gaza serves as a stark juxtaposition to the cold realpolitik of Machiavelli’s The Prince, challenging the illusion of detachment and defending the indefensible. By centring the experiences of the oppressed, the exhibition confronts the audience with the harsh realities faced by the Palestinian people in Gaza, urging a deeper examination of expressions related to Palestine.

Click here to view the exhibition

Location: Dalloul Art Foundation, Rue Madame Curie, White Tower Building, 2nd floor Beirut, Lebanon

Dates: 21 December, 2023 – 15 February, 2024

The Little Prince of Gaza – Exhibition. Courtesy Dalloul Art Foundation

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