Photography of the current conditions & struggles in the Gaza Strip, Occupied Palestine
by Skip Schiel and Teeksa Photography
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About the Book
The situation is both complex in how we tell the story and parade the justifications and yet simple on the level of injustice, impunity, the violation of international law, and the denial of basic human rights. I hope at the very least to open a few windows and doors for others who may seek comprehension of the situation and action to transform it.
At the moment, in short, the situation is dismal, perhaps the worst in decade—but with strong determination on the part of many Gazans to end the siege, end the occupation, end the entrapment, end the injustice, and breathe free. "Worse than a prison," as my friend Husam stated a few years ago before conditions worsened in Gaza, "now a graveyard."
My experience on the ground—five visits since 2004—inspires me. I have noticed much sumud (steadfastness), better use of media, the rise of the youth movement that is coincident with the Arab Spring, and expanded international awareness. The Boycott, Divest, and Sanction Movement (BDS) confirms my hope for eventual resolution.
The photos in this book were mostly made in 2008-2010 and many appear in the movie by Tom Jackson, Eyewitness Gaza.
Through photography I love: daughters, friends, the earth. Through photography I am outraged: at injustice, pomposity, violence, deceit, ignorance, greed. Through photography: I am perverse, critical, analytic, emotive, radiant, clumsy, elegant, adventurous, irreverent, romantic. Through photography: I am a person of the world, of the cosmos. And I am a recluse, an isolate, a monk. For all this I am very grateful. I praise my photographic lineage—ancestors who have taught me, contemporaries who cooperate with me, and successors who might benefit from what I've attempted to do. I thank the great mystery, god, the higher power, the ground of being, the still small voice inside, my dearly beloved and indispensable muses, and the pulse of the universe for allowing me—perhaps—to be aligned with this force, rather than opposed to it. Photography is my main form of prayer—I pray outward to the beings, things, forces I photograph. I pray inward to my own center by sensing the light within.