And on Christmas, a rainy and great wind swept over the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Trees bent and roofs rattled but the wind couldn?t carry away the suffering, vulnerability and the long 365 days of humiliation.
Israeli border soldier stands guard during repeated clashes with Palestinian demonstrators in the West Bank town of Qalandia in 2011
IN the so called Middle East?s only democracy, they do not do guillotines. But there are other innovative rituals of humiliation, designed to reassure the Palestinians that every New Year could well be their last in the land of their ancestors, .. the land of olive trees. As the wind calms down everything returns to normal, but not for the Palestinians, they don?t.
As years go by, the land shrinks, the hope smothers and the despair and humiliation prevail in what is left of Palestine or what is known as the west bank.
Israeli human rights organization B?Tselem may be best known for is its camera project, which started in 2007 when the organization began distributing video cameras to Palestinians living in the occupied West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza.
These cameras are often the only object Palestinians can ?arm? themselves with in the face of discrimination, oppression and violence waged against them.
In 2011, volunteers in B?Tselem?s camera project filmed over 500 hours of footage in the West Bank. These are two minutes they collected and edited from it, depicting life under occupation and military rule, as a way to sum up the year that passed.
Author: Shahidul Alam
Time Magazine Person of the Year 2018. A photographer, writer, curator and activist, Shahidul Alam obtained a PhD in chemistry before switching to photography. His seminal work “The Struggle for Democracy” contributed to the removal of General Ershad. Former president of the Bangladesh Photographic Society, Alam set up the Drik agency, Chobi Mela festival and Pathshala, South Asian Media Institute, considered one of the finest schools of photography in the world.
Shown in MOMA New York, Centre Georges Pompidou, Royal Albert Hall and Tate Modern, Alam has been guest curator of Whitechapel Gallery, Winterthur Gallery and Musee de Quai Branly. His awards include Mother Jones, Shilpakala Award and Lifetime Achievement Award at the Dali International Festival of Photography.
Speaker at Harvard, Stanford, UCLA, Oxford and Cambridge universities, TEDx, POPTech and National Geographic, Alam chaired the international jury of the prestigious World Press Photo contest. Honorary Fellow of Royal Photographic Society, Alam is visiting professor of Sunderland University in UK and advisory board member of National Geographic Society.
John Morris, the former picture editor of Life Magazine describes his book “My journey as a witness”, (listed in “Best Photo Books of 2011” by American Photo), as “The most important book ever written by a photographer.”
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