Humans of Palestine exhibit at Otley Courthouse shows ‘humanity’ through photography


It is the beauty of everyday life that is explored in a set of images available to view in Yorkshire, as humanity itself is conceived as the center of a photographic showcase.

Najib Joe Hakim, a featured Palestinian-American photographer, says, “Our exhibit is an attempt to give a human face and a human experience to Palestinians around the world, not just in Palestine but also in the Diaspora.

Humans of Palestine at Otley Courthouse in Leeds features over 20 such images.

The Good Shepherd by Ahmad Al-Bazz

The free event has already started but will continue at the venue for the arts – formerly a 19th-century magistrates’ court – until Monday, November 28.

The Scottish charity Network of Photographers for Palestine and Leeds-based East Street Arts organized the exhibition, which coincides with the Leeds Palestinian Film Festival which runs this month and runs through December.

Shazia Bibi, the show’s senior producer for East St Arts, says ‘humanity’ is the overarching theme, with images offering a ‘balance between what we see in mainstream media and what these photographers have taken “.

The photographs show Palestinians dancing and singing, cooking, bathing, sleeping, working and more.

Young and old by Mohammed Alhajjar.

“I think there’s not much difference between us and them,” Shazia says.

Among the photographers featured in the exhibition are Ursula Mindermann, Sanad Letefa, Ramez Haboub, Nidal Alwahidi, Najib Joe Hakim, Mohammed Asad, Mohammed Alhajjar, Haitham Khatib, Ahmad Al-Bazz and Abed Zagout.

The network itself includes a collective that seeks to provide Palestinian photographers with a global audience and challenge what they describe as mainstream media bias.

It also facilitates visits by Palestinian photographers abroad. For example, in 2017 it hosted renowned photojournalist Hamde Abu Rahme on a tour of Scotland.

Gaza City woodcarver by Mohammed Asad.

If British photographers are interested in visiting Palestine, members can provide travel advice and contacts they might be interested in meeting.

Shazia’s colleague Hannah Platt, a creative producer, also created a zine about the exhibit as an enduring artifact.

The Leeds Palestinian Film Festival, meanwhile, hosts a mix of documentaries, feature films and rarely seen works.

In an interview to promote the exhibition, Najib said, “Human photography offers us a mirror to see ourselves through the eyes of others and hopefully to better understand who we are as individuals and who we are. are as a species. Sometimes we lose sight of that. We may be so narcissistic in some ways.

“That’s why we make films about ourselves, pictures about ourselves, tell stories about ourselves. And it all has to do with, “Who are we? With photography, it’s my way of exploring this question.

For more information on the Humans of Palestine exhibition, visit https://otleycourthouse.org.uk/

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