Monday, February 16, 2009

Silwan and Bulldozers.....

Jerusalem – Ma’an – The Israeli army harshly put down a demonstration by Palestinians in East Jerusalem protesting land destruction near the Al-Aqsa Mosque, witnesses told Ma’an.

The Israeli army had bulldozed four dunoms of land belonging to the Al-A’bbasi family in the Al-Bustan neighborhood of Silwan, near Jerusalem’s Old City, sources said, leading to riots.

Israeli municipality staff and police responded to the scene, threatening the oweners of the land with arrest for not evicting the protesters, themselves. Israeli police also refused to show official documentation, neither a warrant for entering the property nor a demolition notice for destroying the privately owned land, witnesses said.

The army was backed by heavy military vehicles when it bulldozed the land in Silwan, near the Al-Aqsa Mosque-area illegal settlement of David City, itself adjacent to Al-Mughrabi Gate into East Jerusalem’s Old City. Follow this link for the source and the rest of the story.

For photographs of this and much more, see ActiveStills.

About ActiveStills:
We are a group of documentary photographers acting for social change, convinced in the power of photography as a vehicle of change through awareness. We seek to bring awareness to issues and situations that we believe create social injustice, through images that question the society in which we live in.

We believe in the capability and obligation of photography and all arts in general to make a statement and to stimulate conscience. Photography is a channel of self expression. The camera is the mouth. The picture is the scream.

The group was integrated during the current year out of the belief that mutual work may serve the personal statement of each member and similarly make a conjoined statement that will echo from afar. Our first project was related to the situation of the Palestinian village of Bilin and the High Court of Justice 's decision regarding the trace of the Separation Wall. This work was the fruit of a year of working in the village, and the choosen format was a street exhibition that was displayed in several public spaces in Tel Aviv.

We have chosen the common space as a platform for presenting our works. Using the walls of the city as an open gallery is derived from the will to create a communication with the surrounding. Art as we grasp it shouldn't be locked in galleries, but open to the wide public. We address the people on the street, whom we like to influence, the ones in which the power to make real social changes is latent.

ActiveStills operates in Israel and Palestine and focuses on social and political documenting, projects production, publications and open exhibitions at topics in which the public is not exposed in its daily informative routines, managed by the established media.

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