The first time I went to Palestine-Israel was in 1990, when I went for two weeks holiday with my girlfriend. We travelled through Israel and the West Bank, but never made it to Gaza.
I returned the following year to work there for a year. Living there changed my outlook on the world, conflict, human interaction… the list could go on. I worked for an NGO that sought to help Palestinians economically, and in the course of my work I witnessed the oppression of Palestinians by Israel, especially in the 1967 Occupied Territories, but also the Palestinians in ‘Israel proper’.
I returned to Scotland and worked for the UK churches as a researcher and lobbyist on Middle East issues. Eventually I returned to academia, and wrote a PhD that sought to explore Western and specifically Scottish involvement in Palestine in an historical context. Ever since then I have been involved in and engaged with these issues on a professional and activist level. My academic pages contain more information on some of this. I have returned several times, and still have occasions to go there, and so have seen many changes over time.
Whilst living in Jerusalem, I took a lot of photographs, many on black and white film. I was sometimes able to photograph events or human rights violations by Israeli soldiers or border police that Palestinians would have had difficulty shooting. When this happened I took my film to the main local Palestinian newspaper, and in their darkroom – hmm, that sounds quite grand, it was more like a broom cupboard at the top of the stairs! – I’d develop the film with their photo editor, and he would then make copies of any images he wanted to use in the newspaper (now I’m annoyed with myself that I never bought any of the issues that might have had my photographs in them).
On my most recent trip, in January/February 2010, I was able to make a great many photographs depicting aspects of the situation there. I’m expecting to be making further visits in the near future.
I’ll be putting some of these contemporary images here very shortly. Aside from the galleries depicting current day events and people I am writing about, I’ll also add some photographs relating to aspects of my historical research.
- West Bank (Palestinian territory, occupied by Israel since 1967) (empty at the moment)
- Gaza Strip (Palestinian territory, occupied by Israel since 1967) (empty at the moment)
- Jerusalem (eastern part of city is Palestinian territory, occupied by Israel since 1967) (empty at the moment)
- Golan Heights (Syrian territory, occupied by Israel since 1967) (empty at the moment)
- Israel (defined as the 1948-1967 territory)
- Photographs related to my historical research
Thank you for looking!