From the War on Terror to resistance in Ramallah and traumatic dislocation in the Middle East, Berger explores the uses of art as an instrument of political resistance. Visceral and passionate, Hold Everything Dear is a profound meditation on the far extremes of human behaviour, and the underlying despair.
Looking at Afghanistan, Palestine, and Iraq, he makes an impassioned attack on the poverty and loss of freedom at the heart of such unnecessary suffering.
These essays offer reflections on the political at the core of artistic expression and even at the center of human existence itself.
‘Even though I have been looking at a world rocked by oil dependency and climate change for over a decade, the books I return to are about ways of being human that endure, that show a glimpse of the future embedded in time/physical. Hold Everything Dear: Dispatches on Survival and Resistance is a slim book about a journey to Palestine written with the spare poetry and intellectual fire of old age. John Berger goes to the front line and sees for himself how the Palestinian people are living. He looks at the hyperreality of the media, the business of war, at poverty and privilege. He stands by a group of donkeys and by a young boy watering aubergines under olive trees and locates himself in an ancient land. He sits at his writing desk at night and addresses the dead revolutionary artists he once knew. The future is fraternal, he says. He is 79 years old and he is still a Marxist and reading these pages you know why. When the storm advances, hold everything dear, he is telling us. The people that matter, the trees that matter, the life that matters.’ – Charlotte Du Cann, guest contributor to May 2022’s Rebel Library Recommends
Purchase Hold Everything Dear: Dispatches on Survival and Resistance at Hive online bookshop