By Aisha Mershani, gofundme.com – 25 June 2013
Ten years ago, I began a project to document the lives of everyday Palestinians non-violently resisting Israeli occupation. Since 2003, I have photographed and gathered testimonies from Palestinian communities that have resisted the building of the Wall. After six years away, I am returning to the West Bank in the summer of 2013 to complete this project. My goal is to document and share stories and images of everyday Palestinian non-violent resistance with the aim of building global solidarity with the Palestinian people. I have self-funded my work thus far. I am now asking my community for support with the completion of the last stage of this ten-year project.
From 2003-2005, I worked on the ground in the West Bank photographing military checkpoints, demonstrations, house demolitions, destroyed villages, and the daily lives of Palestinians living under occupation. My photographs have been exhibited in the US, Israel and Europe and published in several websites and books. These photographs, which cannot be seen in mainstream media, expose the reality of life in the West Bank by highlighting the Palestinian nonviolent resistance movement and the steadfastness of the Palestinian people who struggle daily to remain on their land. In 2007, I returned to the West Bank to gather testimonies from individuals in the photos. My aim was to give a back-story to the photo, as each image was deeper than the moment I was able to capture. Within these testimonies, the subjects of my photos were able to tell their own stories of resistance and struggle.
During the summer of 2013, I will complete this decade-long project by returning to each village that resisted the Wall and settlement construction, from Jayyous to the Hebron Hills. I will meet with the individuals whose images I captured in 2007 and 2003-2005 to gather their stories and images. The children in my original photographs have now grown up. While some have celebrated birthdays and marriages, others are now imprisoned by Israel. Throughout it all, they continue their forms of resistance by living their daily lives. My goal is to publish these images and personal narratives in a book project in order to share with the rest of the world the stories of everyday Palestinian non-violent resistance. Please support me in this effort.
I need financial support with local translator fees, transportation within the West Bank for myself and my translator, room and board when traveling, and other costs as they occur during the project period. 20-30$ each will greatly help me reach my initial goal, but no amount is too small. For donations of 100$ and more a photograph of your choice will be mailed to you.
Thanks so much!
IOA Editor: We highly recommend supporting Aisha’s work. Please make a donation HERE.