Digital Intifada

Photography as Protest in Palestine

Doi: https://doi.org/10.47659/m7.056.art

A myriad of images inundates us daily with sequences from a more or less proximate reality, leaving us with the task of negotiating our responses to these representations that empathically seek our attention. The images that we encounter arrive in various forms on various platforms: advertising photographs, surveillance images, selfies, pictures of war or citizen photographs… In the midst of this new and dynamic representational landscape, independent activist groups and photographers documenting injustices around the world have become more prevalent, taking advantage of accessible means of photographic capture and of the possibility for immediate sharing of images with the world. Palestine is one of the places where injustices happen on a daily basis, leaving Palestinians with few and unequal means to respond with a counter narrative. This new online reality with its social media platforms has its own limitations but it is now an important part of their resistance, with photography being used as a form of protest. Citizen and independent photographers, such as Janna Tamimi and the Activestills group, are using these online channels to attest to injustice and oppression themselves, regardless of the presence of the photojournalist as a witness. The professional stance of photojournalists and their objective observations are assumptions that have been fading out, motivating non-professionals from Palestine, and other places, to disseminate imagery with the hope to be seen and to be heard.

A myriad of images inundates us daily with sequences from a more or less proximate reality, leaving us with the task of negotiating our responses to these representations that empathically seek our attention. The images that we encounter arrive in various forms on various platforms: advertising photographs, surveillance images, selfies, pictures of war or citizen photographs… In the midst of this new and dynamic representational landscape, independent activist groups and photographers documenting injustices around the world have become more prevalent, taking advantage of accessible means of photographic capture and of the possibility for immediate sharing of images with the world. Palestine is one of the places where injustices happen on a daily basis, leaving Palestinians with few and unequal means to respond with a counter narrative. This new online reality with its social media platforms has its own limitations but it is now an important part of their resistance, with photography being used as a form of protest. Citizen and independent photographers, such as Janna Tamimi and the Activestills group, are using these online channels to attest to injustice and oppression themselves, regardless of the presence of the photojournalist as a witness. The professional stance of photojournalists and their objective observations are assumptions that have been fading out, motivating non-professionals from Palestine, and other places, to disseminate imagery with the hope to be seen and to be heard.

A myriad of images inundates us daily with sequences from a more or less proximate reality, leaving us with the task of negotiating our responses to these representations that empathically seek our attention. The images that we encounter arrive in various forms on various platforms: advertising photographs, surveillance images, selfies, pictures of war or citizen photographs… In the midst of this new and dynamic representational landscape, independent activist groups and photographers documenting injustices around the world have become more prevalent, taking advantage of accessible means of photographic capture and of the possibility for immediate sharing of images with the world. Palestine is one of the places where injustices happen on a daily basis, leaving Palestinians with few and unequal means to respond with a counter narrative. This new online reality with its social media platforms has its own limitations but it is now an important part of their resistance, with photography being used as a form of protest. Citizen and independent photographers, such as Janna Tamimi and the Activestills group, are using these online channels to attest to injustice and oppression themselves, regardless of the presence of the photojournalist as a witness. The professional stance of photojournalists and their objective observations are assumptions that have been fading out, motivating non-professionals from Palestine, and other places, to disseminate imagery with the hope to be seen and to be heard.

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The ability to communicate globally has expanded beyond the sole remit of large institutions, to include individual citizens and networks of citizens. This cacophony of opinion has seen the narrative dimensions of wars and conflicts becoming as important as its physical dimensions.
Reading Time: 16 minutes
Reading Time: 16 minutes
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