Visual Witness In Palestine
“Art reminds us of what is not – and thus makes us discontent with what is.” – Herbert Marcuse
We invite you to partner with Steve Pavey/Hope in Focus and Eyewitness Palestine to create a photo archive for use in our collective storytelling, advocacy, organizing and educating for justice with Palestinians. The photo archive will be shared with all the partners listed above in the banner, as well as with others who are donating to support this cultural organizing work.
Will You Support Steve’s Cultural Organizing Witness to provide us with Visual Stories?
This February, Steve will join Eyewitness Palestine’s 2.0 Delegation, intended for experienced travelers to Palestine to go deeper in the experience and struggle. The delegation will be participating in the Open Shuhada Street actions in Al-Khalil, working with Grassroots Al-Quds in Jerusalem, and partnering with Adalah in ‘48. Steve will also be going two weeks early to document and witness the struggle alongside the Good Shepherd Collective and Holy Land Trust who are supporting the village of Um al-Khair, a Palestinian Bedouin village in the South Hebron hills that is under threat of demolition and expulsion.
A few of Steve’s Previous Images in Palestine
In order to fund this Project: Visual Witness to Palestine - We are aiming to raise $5,500.
Your financial support will help cover the trip expenses that include Steve’s travel, food, local transportation, accommodations and financial contributions to the supporting partners including Eyewitness Palestine (which has already donated $1,500 of their costs) for their costs. Your support will also mean that you will have unlimited access to an archive of approximately 1,000 high quality images on par with Getty, AP, etc. More than that, you will be supporting work aimed at amplifying silenced stories in addition to adding to the collective memory of our social justice movements. Your support for this project will provide:
A photo archive for Eyewitness Palestine and their U.S. partners to use in their collective storytelling, advocacy, organizing and educating for justice with Palestinians.
A photo archive for Palestinian organizations to use including: Youth Against Settlements, Adalah, Grassroots Jerusalem and Good Shepherd Collective.
Images and stories to be published in a future book by Steve (2020) documenting four communities’ intersectional struggle for liberation and resistance against state-sanctioned violence. Supporting organizations and individuals will be thanked in the book.
A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words
When it comes to Palestine, nothing has been more damaging to the Palestinians than narratives that are dehumanizing. These narratives are intentional and serve to justify repressive measures that are directed at them. But the beauty of Palestinians is that they refuse to be defined by others’ narratives and instead define themselves through collective memory tactics by documenting their struggles, resistance, and their right to live dignified lives.
One of the ways that the vibrancy of Palestinians is told is through pictures - pictures that tell a different story. These are pictures that remind us to look beyond the surface of government narratives and media narratives to listen to voices that are silenced. It is through pictures that truths are communicated without boundaries and without words that constrain our understanding of not only what exists, but what can be imagined. It is pictures that remind us that another world is possible - one where Palestine is free.
“Until the lion tells his side of the story,
the tale of the hunt will always glorify the hunter.”
This African proverb reveals much of how conflicts are defined - those who are marginalized are painted as the perpetrators, while those who have amassed power, are viewed as heroes. In contrast, the pictures below tell as a vastly different story and challenges everything that has been written to amass a picture of the Israel-Palestine conflict as rooted in Palestinian violence. As these pictures demonstrate, nothing could be further from the truth.
Photography as Intervention
Media narratives characterizing the Palestinian-Israeli conflict have in American media have been especially problematic.As an article based on a research study of media bias noted, “words connoting violence, such as ‘terror,’appeared three times more than the word ‘occupation.’”There’s a reason for this - though seemingly subtle, the role of highlighting one word over another is to infuse bias on who is to blame for conflict.When it comes to Israel-Palestine, U.S. media has consistently blamed conflict on Palestinians.
The pictures above - reveal the realities and terror of the occupation - thus serving as an intervention to the narratives that Palestinians are inherently violent and instead revealing the violence that they are subjected to day in and day out. U.S. media may not want to tell the real story, but the story will be told.
“The need to let suffering speak is a condition of all truth.” – Theodor Adorno
About Steve Pavey
Bearing Witness as Hope In Focus
Steve Pavey, PhD is an artist, a witness, a photographer, a contemplative activist – all of which come together in the vocation of cultivating a way to see, in order to bear witness to the world both as it is, and as it could be. His creative process is deeply shaped by accompanying and being accompanied by humanity marginalized & dehumanized by neo-liberal settler colonialism (Imperialism & Empire), documenting and creating images with those shrouded in “otherness” towards the goal of collective action and mutual liberation. His photography focuses on hope – hope found in the struggle and dignity of becoming more human.
Steve has worked in over 30 countries around the world, most recently in Mexico, Palestine and across the U.S. He has accompanied over the past nine years the undocumented migrant-led struggle for freedom and human dignity. His contemplative activist photography with undocumented youth has grown through intersectional solidarity praxis to include bearing witness with indigenous and people of color led movements for Black Lives Matters, Not 1 More Deportation, Free Palestine, Mni Wiconi, Abolish ICE, Protect Oak Flats, Close Guantánamo and the Poor People’s Campaign among many other growing efforts to resist state violence and corporate hegemonic dominance over our lives, communities and mother earth.
Steve has just recently accompanied some of the migrant caravans from Central America and worked with the Poor People’s Campaign to document the Love Knows No Borders action at the San Ysidro/Tijuana Border, and more.
Steve is founder & photographic witness of Hope In Focus, Creative Partner of Transform Network, and in the 2020 cohort of the Living School at the Center for Action and Contemplation.
“Steve Pavey is a professional photographer and Eyewitness Palestine delegate whose photos from his 2017 delegation are among the most important visual images we’ve been able to collect in 17 years.” – Jacob Pace, Communications Director for Eyewitness Palestine
“While other photographers are concerned with capturing images for their aesthetic beauty alone, for Steve, photographs play a role in securing justice because he knows that injustice can hide between the lines of carefully chosen words, but it has few places to hide when it comes to photos. His work reflects this knowledge poignantly.” – Maha Hilal, Co-Director of Justice for Muslims, an organizer with Witness Against Torture, and a Council Member of the School of the Americas Watch
About Hope In Focus
Hope In Focus bears witness to the world as it is and as it could be through contemplative-activist photography committed to walking alongside the world's oppressed and marginalized - finding hope together in our collective struggle for human dignity, justice and freedom.
Hope In Focus (Tax ID/EIN: 20-05370015) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Contributions are tax deductible.
100% of all donations to Hope In Focus always go directly to support the travel and expenses to walk (acompanamiento) in deep solidarity with grassroots-led movement building for human dignity and freedom.
Please let us know if you have questions and/or would like to discuss more details. You can contact Steve directly if you have further questions: firstname.lastname@example.org