Move Beyond stereotypes. Enter hope.
We are visual creatures. What is your first memory? What are some of your favorite memories? What memories come into your mind’s eye when you think of a favorite grandparent, aunt or uncle? Now, what images come to mind when you think of Palestine? One of the risks of being such visual creatures is that we can let a small number of discrete images shape our overall impression of a person, a region, even a people. So many of the images of Palestine and it’s people are ones that other people have taken – often intended to tell the story of Palestine from one perspective or another. But one of the marks of liberation is the opportunity to tell one’s own story. And that is the opportunity and purpose of the photography exhibit that opened last weekend in the Voice of the Spirit gallery, located in the fellowship hall.
This exhibit is part of a signature project of the Dar Al Kalima University College of Arts and Culture in Bethlehem – a call to the best young photographers of Palestine to share their interpretations of Palestine and its people. The photographs on display at West Raleigh are a collection from ten of the finalist from the Karimeh Abboud Award Competition. In the words of photographer Ala’a Abu Salem, “These portraits aim at representing the Palestinian away from any ties, connections or expectations with themes and specific subjects. In short, it is an attempt to break the stereotype and overused image of the Palestinian person.”
These images of powerful – some deeply personal, some artistic expression, some prophetic challenge. Some you will like; some you won’t understand, and others might make you uncomfortable. Yet, all of them are an important opportunity for Palestinian young people to share their own images, tell their own story and to broaden our faithful imagination. As the byline of the exhibit says – to enjoy images of Palestine that are unlimited by stereotypes so that we might move beyond them and enter hope. Don’t miss this exhibit.