Mahmoud Darwish once warned, “the danger is that the Palestinian remains a topic, not a self.” Many people tend to see the Palestinians through the lens of their chosen stereotype. We are all brought up with certain clichés about Palestine. It’s all we hear and know about. But there is no Palestinian ‘defect’, there is no ‘other’. Palestine is much more complex, much more varied and much more detailed than any of these generalisations allow. Instead, Palestinians defiantly live their identity everyday by singing, dancing, reciting poetry and by remembering. Facing constant adversity they have to constantly reconstruct the sense of normality that we take for granted. It’s what they do – keep going, rebuilding and restarting, no matter what keeps coming.
“Looking for Palestine” is a portrait driven project that focuses on young, ambitious, talented Palestinians – such as artists, professionals, journalists and entrepreneurs – who may have to negotiate conflict, resist occupation and who have been reduced to stereotypes but who choose life. The project aims to challenge the prevailing perception of Palestinians that portrays them as either victims of the occupation or radicalised terrorists only, and questions how a false balance in reporting influences our views on a complex and diverse society.