Since the mid-1980s, the visual narrative of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza has been predictable: photographs of stone-throwing teenagers confronting Israeli soldiers, refugee camps, mothers mourning children killed in conflicts, and long lines at border crossing points. Particularly dramatic variations on these visual tropes make the front pages and win awards.
Tanya Habjouqa, a Jordanian-born photographer, looks for subtler strategies to explore today’s Palestinian experience.
“I really felt like I needed to find another way to tell a story, not only just to make sense of it for myself but to make sense of it for how I’m going to present it to my children as well, since this is going to be their home too,” said Ms. Habjouqa, who lives in East Jerusalem with her husband, a Palestinian lawyer with Israeli citizenship, and their two children.
She focused on pleasure instead of suffering. She focused on humor, too, which she said Palestinians use to face the absurdities of everyday life in the Israeli-controlled West Bank and the Hamas-controlled Gaza.
“I am in awe of the Palestinians for not only surviving but actually enjoying their lives in the face of the difficulties of their daily life and their political situation,” said Ms. Habjouqa, who was raised mostly in Texas.
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