An Animated History of Violence in Palestine

10.03.12 Irina Dvalidze

Nina Paley refers to herself as “America’s best loved unknown cartoonist,” but when it comes to copyright issues, she’s down right notorious. Paley is free culture activist — she believes that all creative work is derivative, therefore copying is not really theft. And on that note, watch as This Land Is Mine becomes a show-tune of seemingly endless violence in the Middle East.

Paley got involved copyright activism when her 2008 animated gem Sita Sings the Blues faced copyright issues for its use of 1920’s Annette Hanshaw recordings. Despite the controversy and legal fiascos, the work went on to receive countless awards.

Since then, Paley has produced a number of projects and is back with a new piece called This Land Is Mine, a darkly satirical take on the history of Palestine. Albeit it’s not entirely accurate in its proportions of violence, it’s got an Apocalyptic message we should heed.

The short is an opening scene of a feature film Seder-Masochism Paley plans to release. Hopefully, unlike Sita it will not be encountering copyright issues since This Land Is Mine will be narrated by recordings of Passover Seders collected by Paley as part of Phase I of production. Paley has been charting the production process on her blog along with the feedback regarding the historical context of the piece.