Palestinian artist Lina Sleibi has joined forces with European producer Johno to put out an inspiring Arabic cover version of classic film ballad “Over The Rainbow” from The Wizard of Oz. Following a year of intensive work, this stunning video production is set against the backdrop of the Occupied Palestinian Territories and features Banksy’s artwork like never seen before.
The video sets out to juxtapose the realms of fantasy and childhood, with the harsh reality of being walled-off from the rest of the world. Featuring Banksy’s artwork throughout, it magically transports the original Wizard of Oz characters into Occupied Palestine where they meet and interact with animated graffiti in Bethlehem, and along the Separation Wall.
Its release shines a spotlight on the occupied territory and the sentiment is a modern-day reflection on being positive in challenging circumstances. Regardless of the reasons for the conflict, music is channelled to represent a brighter outlook; an opportunity for fresh hope and resolution for all the people concerned. “Over the Rainbow” has the ability to be recognised across the globe and is a song of universal appeal. At Christmas and moving into the New Year of 2019 it is a song from the birthplace of Christ without religious connotations, but still has the same message of goodwill.
As Lina states: “Music has given me a lot, and I have always wished I could share it back with people. I am grateful for the tiny steps I am taking towards reaching my dream, and feel lucky, proud and thankful to have got this far. Remember to always believe and appreciate all that you have gone through. It makes you who you are today.”
This version of “Over the Rainbow” is a reminder at Christmas of the hope of bringing people together.