Not Afraid to Look

Mon 13th - Sat 18th January 2014. Live link with Gaza Sat 18th Jan, 3 - 5pm
10am - 5pm

Exhibition Launch – Monday 13th January, 6.30pm – 8pm

Exhibition honouring the work of photographer Tom Hurdall and activist Rachel Corrie. Event with Live link with Gaza Sat 18th Jan. 3-5pm.

In 2003, Tom Hurndall and Rachel Corrie both volunteered to work in Gaza with the International Solidarity Movement (ISM). Their job was to protect Palestinians from the many hazards of the occupation – house demolitions, land theft and at times apparently arbitrary gunfire. Rachel was run down by an Israeli caterpillar tractor attempting to prevent the demolition of the house of Samir Nasralla in March 2003.

Tom must have known about Rachel’s death. It happened just a month before he arrived in Gaza. And yet he still put his own life on the line, and volunteered to help a people under severe duress. In April 2003, he was shot in the head by an Israeli sniper whilst attempting to escort tw0 terrified children from the line of fire. After months in a coma he died on January 13th 2004. This is the tenth anniversary of his death. Tom was a student of photography who left behind a unique collection of pictures and reflections of his time in Gaza. We are privileged to present some of these in this exhibition.

It is worth remembering that Gaza was a very different place in 2003. This tiny strip of land was still occupied by the Israeli Force of Occupation, with frequent bombing raids, curfews, and skirmishes. All this met with solid resistance by the Palestinians, a resistance that culminated in the withdrawal of Israel from Gaza in 2005 after 38 years of occupation. However, the vicious siege and air bombardments continue and some may ask whether things have changed for Gazans. We have therefore asked two emerging young photographers Mahmoud (Ezz) Al Zanoun, and Hassan Rabie, to respond to Tom’s photographs and to give us their impressions of modern–day Gaza.

Come along and talk with Ezz and Hassan in our live link-up on 18th January (3.00-5.00pm), and find out what life is like in Gaza today.Prize-winning singer/songwriter Penny Stone will also be singing along with Edinburgh’s radical song-group “Protest in Harmony”. Finally, Gazi Hussein, Edinburgh based poet will be reading one or two of his poems.

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