Ameena, operation, Makassad 30 (232).

  • Spears, Heather, 1943-
Part of:
Drawings by Heather Spears.
  • Pictures

About this work


Drawing of a Palestinian child's head undergoing surgery in Al-Makassed Hospital after being hit by a rubber bullet, showing her ventilation tubes and the injury to her skull.


[East Jerusalem], 1989.

Physical description

1 drawing : pencil and coloured chalk on paper ; 18.1 x 27.6 cm


Heather 17/02/89 (signed and dated bottom right).


Title provided by the artist.
"Ameena. I had been drawing at night and was about to leave, when the neurosurgeon Dr. Dajani saw me on the stairs and told me that a little girl had been shot in Nablus, and he wanted me to draw the operation. By the time I was dressed in greens and mask to go into the operations room, they had finished shaving off all her thick black hair. I was shown the Z-rays of her skull, already tender and distended from the impact, with the bullet black and menacing inside the frontal bone. There she lay with a dark red hole in her forehead. The shee had slid and I could see one plump shoulder and an unformed breast, and, nearest to me, two childish feet with grubby toes. The hole was perfectly round. They held the skin back with what looked like little prolonged forks. Under the brilliant lamps the bullet, eased carefully out, looked very black, as if it had pulled all the world's light into it, and extinguished it. Dr. Dajani ran over with it and put it in my hand. "Show this to people wherever you exhibit your pictures. Show them what is being done to our children."" -- Provided by the artist.


Wellcome Collection 3329260i


Where to find it

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