anis again

active stills

This group: active stills, have been doing some amazing work in Palestine and Israel...

Some of their photo essays are breathtaking and oh so very beautiful and still extremely shocking.

They have a series of essays:

joint struggle - The photos included in this essay are astounding, and from both sides of the wall. Anarchists against the wall joined with Palestinians across the length and breadth of the Israeli Security Fence in order to resist the racial segregation enforced by the Israeli government

Life under occupation - This series shows the every day life of many Palestinians.. the checkpoints, housing demoltions, the imposition of the wall, the desructions of olive groves, contamination of water, settlers attitudes.. the list goes on.




For updates and actions of the group I traveled to Palestine with, please visit the above blog.


Pictures from Palestine

from holly

zaytoun group

The ordeal I went through with my nerves at the airport when leaving Palestine and Israel, especially in relation to my photographs was actually quite significant. I had heard various horror stories of activists leaving Palestine being black listed for having visited the west bank, or having volunteered for a pro-Palestinian organisation, or being questioned initimately about number in their phone books or emails on their computer, really put the fear of god in me. I made sure i cleared my brothers camera of pictures in Jerusalem (with the help of a very sweet guy called Omar, who, having lived in the USA for eleven years, felt more like a european than a Palestinian until his neice wandered in with a drawing for him.. which he praised in arabic and gave many smiles and hugs for- and like a true palestinian made me sit and drink tea in his store for a good hour before leaving for dinner. It was a fascinating conversation and i really admire him for returning to palestine to be with his family) anyway, photos on a CD, sealed in an envelope, placed in the hands of a good friend who was leaving for a cyprus a few days later... i went to the airport physically free of photos, but fearing my reaction to the israeli security and my ability to act nonchalant and passive when being questioned.

but i feel that every picture was worth the worry.
I only wish i had taken more of my friends.


paradise now

I am not sure if i have ever seen a Palestinian feature film before.
I have seen documentaries, many documentaries full of sadness and woe and heartache and violence. but this story was very well told. the simple stories are often the most effective.
This film makes martyrdom seem like an everyday occurrence in Palestine.
however, I know it is not. but it brings to light the normalization of violence and escape and resistance with an air of last-resort politics.
The actors are cast well, the dark underworld is scary and the occupation is rife from the moment the film begins at a checkpoint, machine gun held on the focal point of the female love interest.

With a new film 'Amreeka' begin released in the United states of America, the idea of a Palestinian feature film in a Hollywood style is becoming less obscure, even if there are no cinemas in Palestine. As the protagonist in Paradise Now: Said states - the Palestinians burned the only theatre in Nablus down as an act of resistance during the second intifada.

I hope cinema as a tool can manage to bring to light some of the issues of the middle east to the average American and British viewer at home.
i hope.