The joint photo sessions for Palestinian and Israeli settler women take place at the heart of the conflict in the West Bank. They were envisioned to foster consideration, reconciliation and mutuality.
The novelty of camera work is a way to break down barriers and foster contact. It is a unique opportunity for these women to have a real perception and concept of the other through a personal interaction.
Safety is key as for many of these participants, this is the very first time they encounter “the other”.
Even with limited ability to communicate, the camera as the common tool forges connections. It looks to create “empathy in action” as it sparks collaborative engagement. Through the reciprocity of an exchange when each plays the role of the attentive photographer and the willing model with the reversal of those roles, the humanity of the other is revealed. Photography is a great tool to open doors, to begin to explore looking through the eyes of those we might feel separated from, and to possibly discover interconnectivity even with very different life experiences. Those few days of contact create an obviously deepened sense of the other, a true appreciation and connection.