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When the future historians examine the turn of 21 century, one theme will stand out: religious fundamentalism. In the West these days we hear so much about “Islamic fundamentalism” that it’s easy to get the impression that it is the only kind out there.
Mixing the work of renowed international artists Parastou Farahour (Iran), Mark Vallen (US), Debbie Hill (Israel), with shocking photography smuggled out of Afganistan under brutal Taliban rule by RAWA, or images of post invasion Iraq and documenting the rise of the Evalgelical Christian right “Fundamental” is timely glimpse into disturbing world of global religious extremism intended to dispel falsehoods, to inform and inspire debate
Funadmental is supported by European Cultural Foundation and The Arts Council UK. Participating Artists and Photographers: Tanya Tier, Mark Vallen, Abbas, Sahir Raza, Khosrow Hassan Zadeh, Andrew Stern, Parastou Forouhar, Debbie Hill, Leanne L'Hirondelle, Joel Pelletier, Polyp, R.A.W.A.
American Fundamentalists

American Fundamentalists



Execution of Zarmeena.

Execution of Zarmeena.

02 Apr, 2004

02 Apr, 2004

Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan (R.A.W.A)
Polyp has been drawing provocative political cartoons for New Internationalist magazine for over ten years, as well as contributing to other progressive publications including the Big Issue, Red Pepper, Bulb,  Ethical Consumer,  and Mule and campaign groups such as World Development Agency, War on Want and Christian Aid. 

"Polyp is in the finest traditions of political cartoonists. He is incisive, brilliantly ironic and a bit ruthless. We need more like him."

John Pilger, journalist and broadcaster
Joel Pelletier is an American musician and painter based in Los Angeles;  in 1990  first saw James Ensor's classic 1888 Belgian pre-expressionist masterpiece "Christ's Entry into Brussels in 1889" hanging at the Getty Museum in Los Angeles. This painting depicted a giant parade down the streets of Brussels in honour of the return of Jesus, barely visible in the middle of the crowd, while in the foreground Belgian's elite congratulate themselves and celebrated the fact that Jesus' chose Brussels for his second coming, rather than the second coming itself. Ensor so insulted the Belgian art and business community with his commentary and satire that the painting was never shown in public in Belgium during his lifetime.

Pelletier saw immediate parallels to today's American political and business culture, especially in it's use of religion and religious terminology to gain and hold power. After the selection of George W. Bush in 2000, more and more walls between church and state have been destroyed, along with further consolidation of corporate and media power. Joel realised that Ensor's fable could easily be transported to Washington DC in the near future, with some of the same (and many new) conclusions to be drawn from the spectacle. In 2004, Joel created "American Fundamentalists (Christ's Entry into Washington in 2008). "This full-size acrylic adaptation depicts current American religious, corporate and political fundamentalists and their 
lackeys whooping it up in a big parade celebrating the return of Jesus, as 2008 Washington burns, the sky is a permanent nuclear red, and everywhere snipers and military aircraft stand guard.
One major addition to Joel's version of Ensor's painting is the lack of spectators in the parade: the current popular interpretation of the second coming of Christ follows a disastrous World War and genocide of most of the population on the planet. In this interpretation of the Armageddon myth most of the planet's cities, culture, animals and people are lost in a fire-storm which ends in the few, chosen leaders ruling over the what's left for a thousand years, with Jesus as King.

Artist statement:
To a sceptical freethinker, the idea that some within the current American political and military establishment, and many who vote or financially support them, actually believe in this "happy ending" is beyond worrisome. More than the freedom to choose or not choose faith is threatened by these current political and cultural movements  all  life on this planet, based on a dangerous modern interpretation of an ancient myth, is endangered in the real world by real people with the power to act.
RAWA is an independent political/social organisation of Afghan women struggling for peace, freedom, democracy and women's rights in fundamentalism-blighted Afghanistan.

17 Nov, 1999, Kabul, Afghanistan, Execution of Zameena
Zarmeena was executed by the Taliban at Kabul Stadium for allegedly killing her husband. Zarmeena's children and the family of Zarmeena's husband were present at the stadium and the children were crying loudly for their mother. Several minutes before the execution, her husband's family announced to the Taliban that they had forgiven  Zarmeena.




(World Picture News)
San Francisco, USA 09 Mar, 2007   Chip Chipman
BattleCry marchers

Teenmania Ministries, founder Ron Luce, brought his evangelical ministry's two day BattleCry event to San Francisco, Calif. on Friday, March 9, 2007. Thousands of evangelical teenagers from around California descended on the steps of San Francisco's City Hall as part of a weekend dedicated to rejecting the corrosive elements of popular culture and giving teens the strength to proclaim a radical Christian alternative. They responded vigorously to a group of anti-fundamentalist protesters.
Police file photos of prostitutes that were published in the daily papers and served a serial killer, a self-declared "avenger" who had murdered a number of women, as orientation in the choice of his victims.

Khosrow Hassan Zadeh was born in Tehran in 1963.  After serving in the Iran-Iraq war he returned to study painting at the Mojtama-e-Honar University from 1989-1991. He then worked as a fruit-seller for a number of years before studying Persian literature in 1996-2000 at one of the Azad Universities. In 2003, he received a bursary from the Cité Internationale des Arts, Paris. Khosrow Hassan Zadeh's paintings portray legendary figures or people in everyday life in a style that clearly shows his indebtedness to his teacher, Aydin Aqdasgloo. In addition to painting, Khosrow Hassan Zadeh also works as a film actor. He lives and works in Tehran.
An Iranian transplanted to Paris, Abbas first dedicated his work to document the political and social life of societies in conflict such as Biafra, Vietnam, South Africa under apartheid, and the revolution in Iran.
He then undertook a series of essays on Islam, Christianity and Paganism, each one spanning many years. He is currently examining how religion, which he defines as culture than faith, is replacing political ideology as the driving force behind international conflict.

From 1978 to 1980, he photographed the revolution in Iran, and returned in 1997 after a 17 years voluntary exile. His book Iran Diary 1971-2002 (Autrement 2002) is a critical interpretation of its history, photographed and written as a personal diary.


Apr 07, 2004  Baghdad
A Mahdi army soldier killed the night before during clashes with US troops in Sad'r City.
Debbie Hill is a photojournalist and artist, living in Jerusalem, whose images explore and document the convergence of culture, religion, and politics in Israel. Debbie Hill was born into a devout  Christian Baptist home in the  mountains of West Virginia in the United States in 1956.
In 1978, she travelled to Israel on a church sponsored tour and returned alone for an extended visit in 1983 and began a photo essay that would change the course of her life.
Hill began a professional photography career in the early eighties after earning a Masters Degree in Communication Arts, specializing in photojournalism, in 1982, from Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia.
In 1995, she converted to Judaism, and, immediately immigrated to Israel. She lives in Jerusalem.
Debbie Hill is an independent photojournalist who has been widely published in major international magazines and newspapers, including, Time, Newsweek, Der Spiegel, Paris Match, the New York Times, International Herald Tribune, USA Today, Sunday Telegraph of London.
Her images explore and document the convergence and conflicts of cultures, religions and politics in Israel, the West Bank and Gaza.
Hills photographs have been exhibited in the United States and Israel. She frequently lectures in the United States about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Marcelo Salinas  Peshawar, Pakistan 25 Sep, 2004
Pakistan Religious School
A mauhalam teaches students the Qu-ran at a Madrassa in Peshawar, Pakistan, Sept. 25, 2004. Many former students of Madrassas, located on the border between Afghanistan, join radical Islamic movements such as Taliban or Al Qaeda.
  Apr 08, 2004  Baghdad
Shia muslims in Sad'r City chant and express their anger as they prepare to donate blood for Sunni muslims injured in Fallujah when US forces bombed a mosque there.

Apr 08, 2004 City: Baghdad
A copy of the Koran shot by US troops in the destroyed Muqtada Al-Sad'r offices in Sad'r City. US troops shot the offices with guided missiles, machine gun and tank cannon fire and then proceeded to move in on foot and rip up and shoot copies of the Koran and pictures of Shia religious leaders.
Andrew Stern is a photographer based in New York. His work focuses on social and political issues around the world and has appeared in The Guardian, Harper's, La Jornada, Aftonbladet, Internazionale, Clamor, Adbusters, Z, Dazed and Confused, Die Welt, and The New Internationalist as well as in galleries throughout the United States and Europe.
Israeli Jewish Settlers, Amona Settlement, West Bank. 2006.
Questions of identity are confounded on the rooftops of Amona. The Israeli flag is used as a mask in the fashion more often associated with Palestinian activists. The barbed wire is there to keep out Israeli evacuating forces. The slogan is: “A Jew does not remove a Jew.”
Israeli Jewish Settlers, Amona Settlement, West Bank. 2006.
Questions of identity are confounded on the rooftops of Amona. The Israeli flag is used as a mask in the fashion more often associated with Palestinian activists. The barbed wire is there to keep out Israeli evacuating forces.
Mark Vallen was born in Los Angeles, California in 1953 where he has been creating socially conscious artworks for as long as he can remember.  By 1971, at the age of 17, he had already published cartoons in the Los Angeles Free Press newspaper. In the same year he published his first street poster, a pre-Watergate artwork titled, Evict Nixon.
In the late 70's and early 80's Vallen became actively involved in the nascent punk rock scene. He produced a myriad of drawings, prints, and paintings based on those experiences. From 1979 to 1980 he worked at Slash Magazine (the West Coast's premier punk publication), producing two cover illustrations for the infamous magazine. He also played a minor role in the production of The Decline of Western Civilization, the punk rock documentary by director Penelope Spheeris.
Vallen has created illustrations for Slash Magazine, the L.A. Weekly, L.A. Reader, California Magazine, The Progressive, Mother Jones, and South End Press.  'More Than A Witness', the artist's first solo exhibit held in Los Angeles at the A Shenere Velt Gallery from July to August 2004, was also a retrospective exhibition that encompassed 30 years of work.
USA today

USA today

Painted in 1985, A People Under Command: USA Today, was my wry comment on the rise in America of right-wing political ideology, along with a resurgent, politicised Christian fundamentalism. The concept for the painting came to me while watching a born-again preacher on television performing a song about "God’s Army" and how true believers were "a people under command" lead by the ultimate general - Jesus Christ. Since I had always heard Jesus referred to as the "Prince of Peace," I found the jingoistic psalm more than a little disturbing, especially when coupled with the rightward drift in American politics as exemplified by the administration of Ronald Reagan. My painting heralded the new dark ages - but little did I realise it would take on a frightening new dimension come the events of September 11th, 2001.
Artist statement “This figure tells the story of Tony Blair´s war in newspaper headlines. Photos of dead British soldiers mix with politicians and anti-war protestors. The piece takes on the role of war memorial and storyteller. The female form represents the suffering of women in war - loosing husbands and children, the ones who protect and keep them. The five wristbands represent five years of war.
The poppy wreath shows how little we learn from history - we are destined to march our troops around the endless circle of war.
The cruciform is a reference to the faith of the politicians who regularly tell us what good Christian men they are, while to many they are just evangelical cusaders.”
Tanya Tier was born is Amman, Jordan and now lives in the UK. She is an anti-war artist and campaigner, and has been studying the effects of war on womer and children. She has explored this issue through her art in the ´Birds of War´collection.
Magical mystery

Urban Solitude

Magical Mystery II


Eviction of
the Masochist
from Hell

Next Step


of the Bigger World

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19 JULY 2008                                                          Copyright: Gallery Gabrichidze