Following the debut of his most recent work, This Divestment Bill Hurts My Feelings, Palestinian-American writer Remi Kanazi canvasses his experiences as an activist and poet. In the video below, Remi collaborates with Suhel Nafar, director, animator, and co-founder of DAM, to create a powerful case for divestment on university campuses. In a visually stimulating fusion of animation and typography, Remi deconstructs some of the most prevalent talking points against divestment seen today.
In this interview, beyond exploring the content of This Divestment Bill Hurts My Feelings, Kanazi reveals his inspiration for the piece and puts forward advice for aspiring artists within social movements. He discusses his genesis as a poet and the transformational effects of his trips to Palestine.
Kanazi proceeds by considering the remarkable progress the BDS movement has seen within the past decade. He draws parallels between the arguments posed against past boycotts to the current opposition BDS is facing today- invalidating them in the process. Before moving on, Kanazi commends students and various academic associations for both the critical space they are creating for younger academics, and the revival of collaboration amongst the students and faculty. In discussing the role of solidarity and intersectionality among social movements, Kanazi addresses various systems of oppression and emphasizes our responsibility to combat all forms of repression. He concludes by reflecting on his experiences in New York, after 11 September 2001, and the tenacity of occupied peoples against United States militarism.