Tanya Habjouqa
Occupied Pleasures
“Occupied Pleasures” is a project that focuses on the ludicrous moments of everyday life that the 47-year occupation of the West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem has created and despite that the beauty coming to light by Palestinians who don’t allow the sorrow express their existance.
More than 4 million Palestinians live in the West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem, where the political situation regularly intrudes upon the most mundane of moments.
Movements are circumscribed and threat of violence often hangs overhead. This creates the strongest of desires for the smallest of pleasures.
In a besieged Gaza where even a five-minute boat ride is the epitome of freedom, imagining a tropical adventure all the while standing against a colorful back drop with a live parakeet... In humor there is often sadness, longing for more possibility.
Tanya Habjouqa’s photographs focus on gender, social, and human rights issues in the Middle East. She approaches her subjects with sensitivity but also with an eye for the absurd. Winning a World Press Award for her series Occupied Pleasures in 2014, she is also a founding member of Rawiya, the first all female photo collective of the Middle East.
Habjouqa is providing training for new photographers as part of The Arab Documentary Photography Programme supported by Magnum, Prince Claus and AFAC. Based in East Jerusalem, she is working on personal projects that explore identity politics, occupation, and subcultures of the Levant.