Now That There Is Light, Shoot

As an activist-photographer in training, I am preoccupied with the tension between the representative power of images and their performative function. The act of taking a photograph is fundamentally different from the act of seeing; photographing is a corporal act and intensely subjective experience. Like many of my mentors, I perceive photographs as image-events, with the photographed and photographer existing along the same axis of co-dependency and engagement.

In the last decade, my work has moved between the public and private spheres. Alongside my engagement with political struggles as an activist-photographerI have also been taking photographs of my father, who is suffering from severe PTSD since the 1973 Arab-Israeli war (Yom Kippur War). This body of work has grown into a personal mythological archive, showing the darkness and also shedding light on the intimate relations and intergenerational transference of trauma.

 

With this iterative-visual labyrinth, which now consists of over 600 frames taken in an old Pentax camera, I continue to delve into the familial as a realm of becoming. I use these images as metaphors for the self, to highlight the ways unacknowledged psychic pain can bind one generation to the next in chains of fate and suffering. It is my hope that my personal photographic acts become performative gestures of public intimacy and point to the potential of post-traumatic growth as an aperture for political change and healing.