A Place of Our Own

A Place of Our Own

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Contrary to what we are often shown in the media, there is a growing group of young adults of Arabic descent demanding their rightful place in Israel's society. Smart and self-confident, they do not accept being seen as second-rate citizens; they are first-rate and fully part of Israel, whether the rest of the country likes it or not. And they will remain so, they are not going anywhere. They are building up their lives just as their Jewish counterparts are trying to do.

For six years (2014-2020) Tel Aviv-based photographer and artist Iris Hassid, focusing in her work predominantly on the identity and culture of women and adolescents from different backgrounds, followed the day to day lives of four young Palestinian women.

Engaging in spontaneous, pleasurable, and often thought-provoking conversations, she photographed Samar (a fresh graduate from film school) from Nazareth, her cousin Saja (studying psychology) also from Nazareth, Majdoleen (studying architecture) from Kafr Kanna, and Aya (studying social work and gender studies), from Kafr Qara. One can see bits of these conversations in the book.

"It was refreshing to hear Arabic being spoken in my neighborhood by a new generation of young and self-confident women, so different from how they are portrayed in the media. Why do we label people by their languages, names, accents, looks, and nationalities?" The presence of these young women in Ramat Aviv fascinated Iris Hassid, who lives right around the corner from Tel Aviv University, so it made sense to engage. "This project does not claim to faithfully document the lives of these women, nor does it pretend to show 'true' moments. It should be seen as a collaboration between the women and me.

The outcome of the project is as refreshing, remarkable, and hopeful as it is unclear. I gained their trust as we learned more about each other. Bit by bit I witnessed more intimate parts of their lives and I also met their families back home. This long and intimate collaboration made me question the place I live in, the historical narrative, the identity and symbols we inherited on both sides. It has revealed a complex and new reality. I often think about their futures and about the future of this country.

--Iris Hassid

Author: Iris Hassid, Manal Shalabi, Gilad Gilad
Publisher: Schilt Publishing
Published: 12/01/2020
Pages: 168
Binding Type: Hardcover
Weight: 2.65lbs
Size: 11.80h x 9.70w x 0.70d
ISBN: 9789053309438