Occupied Pleasures, by Tanya Habjouqa
Tanya Habjouqa was born in Jordan and educated in the United States, receiving her masters in Global Media and Middle East Politics from the University of London SOAS. Beginning her career in Texas, she documented Mexican migrant communities and urban poverty before returning to the Middle East. Tanya is known for gaining unique access to sensitive gender, social and human rights stories in the Middle East. She is a freelance photographer, features writer, and a founding member of Rawiya photo collective (founded by five female photographers from across the Middle East).
A 2014 World Press Award winner for Daily Life, 2nd prize stories, she is also recipient of the Magnum Foundation 2013 Emergency Fund for her project, Occupied Pleasures, and a finalist for the 2014 FotoEvidence Book award. Habjouqa has worked on the front lines in Iraq, Lebanon, Darfur, and Gaza. Her series “Women of Gaza” is in the permanent collection of the Boston Museum of Fine Art.
More than four million Palestinians live in the West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem, where the political situation regularly intrudes upon the most mundane of moments. Movement is circumscribed and threat of violence often hangs overhead. This creates the strongest of desires for the smallest of pleasures, and a sharp sense of humour about the absurdities that a 47-year occupation has produced. In her series “Occupied Pleasures“, photographer Tanya Habjouqa explores the moments where ordinary men and women demonstrate a desire to live, not just simply survive.
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