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Art Under Occupation: Palestinian-Canadian artist Hanny Khoury talks art, identity, and belonging




Palestinian-Canadian artist Hanny Khoury has spent years thoughtfully exploring his identity, trying to establish his understanding of what it means to be Palestinian.Art has always been his lifeline, an outlet where he channels frustrations and emotions, seeking a means of representing his past in a way that empathizes with an international audience. From Palestine to Canada, his journey has been difficult and encouraging, a true redemption arc that’s far from over.

Khoury grew up in a small village in historical Palestine-one of six children-under the Israeli occupation. As far back as he can remember, his identity, and the identities of his family and neighbors, were conflated with the information being spread by the occupation. “You are a Palestinian, a minority living under occupation. The environment is weird, nothing is clear.You can’t identify yourself and you don’t grow up with a clear identity that’s solid,” says Khoury.“From school to the media, the occupation is basically programming your brain, to make you forget your identity.”

Art was the one thing that could ground Khoury to something tangible. It was a means of coping with the instability of his daily life and allowed him to express his confusion. As he describes, it was a means of creating an entirely new world: “It’s like I was creating my own environment, my own life, the way I wanted it to be. With time, art became a healing process for me. It became the one thing through which I rebuild the relationship with everything around me and make peace with it. Heal it. That’s how art spoke to me. Art became like food for me, or water.”Even when his parents struggled to afford necessities, his mother would use soil and flowers to make natural pigments he could paint with. Walls, doors, broken pieces of wood-anything could serve as a canvas in Khoury’s eyes.

Eventually, after years of tension, both internally and with his environment, he made his way to Canada. This fresh start opened his mind, and he finally found the space and time to focus on his practice. It was during this period that he began to consider the parameters of being a Palestinian artist in a contemporary context. As a child, Khoury’s sources of artistic inspiration were limited to what was acceptable under the occupation. Names from Western art history, like Salvador Dali and Pablo Picasso, were tolerable, but examples of Palestinian art were scarce. “Back then, I didn’t have anything that made me a Palestinian artist. I got this sense of belonging later in life, through my own research. I developedan awareness about our existence as Palestinians and then my art started to belong to the history and the story of Palestine. Before that, I didn’t have the opportunity to learn that information,” says Khoury.

Through his studies and careful research, Khoury began to form his own idea about the critical difference between being a Palestinian artist and producing Palestine art. “I think the Palestinian story of identity loss, it had its own time,” he explains.“Silman Mansour, Nabil Anani, Ismail Shammout-those artists had to do it because they had to construct their identity and the identity of the Palestinian people.  For us, as the young generation in or from Palestine, we must do something different. We have to work with an international language, while still belonging to the Palestinian identity.” Khoury’s search for identity is also a search for expression, finding a way to leverage Palestinian form to resonate on an international, even universal, level.

Currently represented by Mark Hachem Gallery, Khoury’s work is set to make an impression on audiences around the world. He has already made great strides with his ability to translate his own experiences into a visual, emotionallanguage that anyone can connect with. “What I have suffered in my life, the experiences, the journey I had in Palestine-this is what developed my international language of art. This is where it came from. The figures, the colors, the balance. Everything that makes up my work is Palestinian, but the figures themselves aren’t necessarily Palestinian,” he explains. “Art is translating the time period that we live in, visually.The modern world of art is not translating specific moments, it’s translating specific emotions. We talk about our conflicts, our difficulties, our pain, the system. That’s what we talk about as artists. So, when we look at art, it should deliver emotion. It doesn’t necessarily have to do with belonging to the physical world. It can be connected to the emotional world, or faith.” Confident and passionate, Khoury is forging ahead with a new vision of what Palestinian art could be, offering the next generation of young artists what he was denied growing up: an inspirational figure.

Michelle has been a part of the journey ever since Bigtime Daily started. As a strong learner and passionate writer, she contributes her editing skills for the news agency. She also jots down intellectual pieces from categories such as science and health.

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Sustainable Animal Management Practices for Small Farms: Minimizing Environmental Impact and Maximizing Profits




Small farms play a vital role in our food system, providing locally-grown produce and meat to communities across the country. However, these farms face challenges in terms of sustainable animal management, as they may lack the resources and infrastructure of larger operations. In this article, we will discuss some sustainable animal management practices that small farms can adopt to minimize their environmental impact and maximize their profits.

Implementing a Rotational Grazing System

One issue that small farms may face is managing the waste produced by their livestock. Manure and other by-products can contribute to air and water pollution if not properly managed. One strategy for addressing this issue is to implement a rotational grazing system. This involves dividing a pasture into several smaller sections and rotating the livestock between them. This allows the animals to graze on fresh grass while also allowing the grass to recover and reducing the amount of manure in any one area. The benefits of this system include improved soil health, increased biodiversity, and reduced need for chemical fertilizers.

Using Natural Remedies and Preventative Measures

Another sustainable animal management practice for small farms is to use natural remedies and preventative measures to reduce the need for antibiotics and other medications. For example, probiotics and essential oils can be used to promote gut health in livestock, while natural fly repellents can help keep pests at bay. This not only reduces the use of antibiotics and other chemicals but can also improve the overall health and well-being of the animals. Moreover, animals that are raised naturally and without the use of antibiotics or growth hormones may fetch higher prices in the market.

Investing in Efficient Infrastructure

In terms of infrastructure, small farms can benefit from investing in equipment and facilities that are designed to be efficient and low impact. For example, a cattle gate system can be used to manage the movement of livestock between pastures without the need for manual labor. This system involves a series of gates and fences that can be opened and closed remotely, allowing the farmer to easily move the animals to different areas of the farm. This reduces the amount of time and energy required to manage the livestock, while also minimizing the risk of injury to both the animals and the farmer. Similarly, investing in solar-powered water pumps, energy-efficient lighting, and eco-friendly insulation can help reduce the farm’s energy costs and carbon footprint.

Collaborating with Other Farmers

Small farmers can also benefit from networking with other farmers and industry professionals to share knowledge and resources. This can include attending workshops and conferences, joining farmer networks and associations, and connecting with other farmers online. By working together and sharing ideas, small farmers can learn from each other and develop sustainable animal management practices that are tailored to their specific needs and resources. Moreover, collaborating with other farmers can help small farms gain access to new markets, shared resources such as equipment, and increased bargaining power with suppliers and buyers.


In conclusion, sustainable animal management practices are crucial for small farms to minimize their environmental impact and maximize their profits. By implementing strategies such as rotational grazing, natural remedies, efficient infrastructure, and networking with other farmers, small farms can thrive while also contributing to a more sustainable and resilient food system. And with tools like the cattle gate system, small farmers can manage their livestock with ease and efficiency, allowing them to focus on what really matters: growing healthy, happy animals and producing high-quality, locally grown food.

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