Occupied Pleasures

by Tanya Habjouqa

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Copyright 2015 FotoEvidence. All rights reserved. Photographs Tanya Habjouqa Introduction Laleh Khalili Foreword Nathalie Handal Poetry Najwan Darwish, Sousan Hammad, Hind Shoufani Photo Editor: Régina Monfort Text Editor: David Stuart Design: Mark Weinberg First edition: Sold Out ISBN: 978-0-9894866-8-2

Occupied Pleasures by Tanya Habjouqa is a testimony to Palestinian resilience as they pursue simple pleasures in the face of an endless occupation. Tanya’s lens explores how people live through the daily absurdities. Inspired by Martin Parr, Tanya documents the growing “fringe pleasures,” from the flying parkour boys of Qalqilya to the surfers and break-dancers of Gaza. She focuses on the quiet moments of release and escape. After years of documenting the Israeli-Palestinian conflict for media and NGOs, the issue took an intimate turn for Tanya Habjouqa. She married a Palestinian and the subsequent birth of her children has turned this conflict into a lived and shared narration. “Now more than ever I see the importance of celebrating the humor that infuses life amidst the oppressive environment.” As Dr. Laleh Khalili says about Occupied Pleasures in her introduction, “We also need imagery that captures the poetry of everyday life, and not only the prose of strife. We need the fleeting wash of pleasure to color our memories in the interstices of devastation, ruination and grief… We need to remember people embodied in their flesh and not just reflected through the lens of news, or prejudice, or stereotype.”  Habjouqa recalls a trip to Gaza, where one industrious man refused to be deprived of his right to love and snuck his young Jordanian bride through one of the smuggling tunnels which link the beleaguered coastal enclave to Egypt. He said, “It was like a Bollywood film, her standing there and trembling, covered in earth ….I ran to her and covered her with my kisses.” That moment stayed with Habjouqa and infused in her a desire to capture those little nuggets of happiness and light that Palestinians literally find at the end of the tunnel. Selected as one of the best photo books of 2015 by TIME magazine. Selected as one of the best photo books of 2015 by Smithsonian magazine.


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