WATCH: Palestinians ‘Dare to Dream’ as Eurovision event in Israel nears

This year’s Eurovision slogan is ‘Dare to Dream.’ Activestills asked Palestinians what their dreams are.

Israel will be hosting the Eurovision Song Contest this year, with some 200 million people expected to watch from around the world. The event, which will take place from May 14 to May 18 in Tel Aviv, falls around Nakba Day, during which Palestinians remember the hundreds of thousands of Palestinians who were expelled and fled, and over 500 villages that were destroyed, in the 1948 war.

In a play on the competition’s slogan for this year, “Dare to Dream,” Activestills asked Palestinians in East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza about their life and dreams while living under Israeli occupation. Some said they dream of becoming swimmers, or ballet dancers; all speakers said they strive to live a normal life, in safety, without oppression.

A second video in the series focuses on the reality of the Israeli occupation and apartheid. It’s introduced as a “postcard” from Palestine — a reference to the short clips that proceed each participating country’s performance.

“Everything they will show you is very far away from the reality we live in Palestine,” says one of the interviewees, on the backdrop of police detaining a Palestinian child, then right wing protestors assaulting a cameraman.

Other scenes include the demolition of a Palestinian home, Palestinians waiting in long lines at a checkpoint, and a bulldozer uprooting an olive tree.

“This competition will take place on a confiscated land, whose indigenous owners were expelled from,” says another speaker in the video.

Supporters of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement have called on Eurovision fans to boycott the event, accusing Israel of “artwashing” its occupation of millions of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza through music.