February 2006. The Israeli occupation of Palestine and the construction of the Separation Wall will soon have the Palestinians completely locked into boundaries defined by the occupying power. Much like the Apartheid of South Africa, this system of occupation is having dire effects on the Palestinian economy, on it’s political aspirations and on the psyche of the Palestinian people. The Occupation leaves both Palestinians and Israelis with little hope for their future generations.
This part of the world has become one of the most photographed of the last decade and there is now a huge archive of images, mostly visiting press, documenting the region. But with such an overwhelming number of images of tanks, guns, destruction, stones, violence, pain, death, and exile, we are becoming increasingly immune. Al-liquindoi and Rula Halawani, photographer and director of the Photography Department at Birzeit University decided to organize a documentary photography workshop for young Palestinian photographers.
Larry Towell from Magnum taught this one-week workshop. The workshop was an attempt to enable young Palestinian photographers to tell their personal stories, adding their own photographs to the increasingly large image archive on their homeland. Sixteen young photographers with varying levels of experience participated in the workshop. Ahmad Housheih, Amer Shomali, Areej Hazboun, Eyad Jadallah, Issam Al-Rimawi, Malek Anees Abd Almajeed, Mansour Fkhideh, Mohanad Yaqubi, Muntaser Idkaidk, Nizar Edmond Habash, Ola Atiyeh, Oruba Hamayel, Ramzi Hazboun, Rawan Hamad, Sami Said, and Yazan Al-Khalili. The workshop gave them the opportunity to develop their technical skills and to experiment the many different ways of communicating through a visual language. They chose to explore a variety of approaches and a wide range of subject matter. The final result is a powerful, colorful, multidimensional representation of their own lives and every day life in the Occupied Territories.