How Palestinian Bloggers Cover Protests in Their Own Villages

As the cycle of protests goes on, Palestinian videographers and live bloggers produce footage of great immediacy and pointed perspective

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I stumbled into Kamel Qadummi during a demonstration at his village, Kafr Qaddum, a few months ago. With his laptop in one hand and a small camera in the other, he was running straight into the cloud of tear gas, breathless. Unlike the foreign photojournalists, he didn’t have a gas mask, yet he was determined to film the events and webcast them live.

Watching him filming evoked many questions that have been gnawing at me lately.

For the past few years, I’ve been documenting stories of Palestinian villagers across the West Bank. I usually try to avoid photographing the weekly demonstrations. Can I possibly add anything significant to the ever expanding archive of protest imagery? All sides involved — Palestinians, Israeli soldiers and media correspondents — have years of experience in this repeated activity that has come to resemble a kind of ritual. Documented by numerous photographers and filmmakers who sometimes outnumber the actual protesters, the events and the images of them repeat themselves in a tragic cycle.

(PHOTOS: The Stone Throwers of Palestine)

Then again, perhaps this never ending cycle is itself the story. As a Palestinian teenager once told me during a protest in Ramallah, “We won’t gain anything from one demonstration. The occupation won’t end tomorrow, we just need to do this every week, again and again — that’s all that matters.” If he is right, then the essence of the story to be told is about the seemingly endless cycle. And if so, why should foreigners document it — particularly when the local bloggers seem to be doing a great job of it themselves? The bloggers are passionate and persistent; they never miss an important moment the way outsiders inevitably do. Now the major media outlets tend to use their work more and more; it’s immediate, often very intimate, and always free of charge.

Back from the smoke, Qadummi smiled and showed me an image he had just taken of a few soldiers, proud that he had gotten so close to them without getting caught. I asked if I could film him working. He agreed. I was curious about his images, and I wanted to discover what he does with them, which of them he would select to publish. It seemed like an opportunity to explore these questions and probably gather a few more.

PHOTOS: Palestinians Protest in the West Bank

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carabereck
carabereck

Wonderful. How, I wonder, do the foreign photojournalists fare against Syrian local bloggers?

I haven't seen any recent on-the-ground photoshoots by foreign journalists in Syria--ah, it's dangerous there? people blown away like flies? Over 20,0000 dead?

Well, at least the UN is actively sanctioning Syria--oh, so they aren't? Vote keeps getting blocked, you say? somehow, the UN manages to actively sanction againt Israel--amazing.

Glad to see you are reporting on what's REALLY important. kolhakavod.

warmonkey
warmonkey

    How do you figure that the United Nations is, "actively sanctioning"  Israel?  

      In what manner are they doing this?   

       They are not-  so are you going to continue to repeat this?   I am expecting that you will.......

Ted Leavensworth
Ted Leavensworth

How is it that no jouirnalist is capable of understabding what he /she is writing about?

The palestinian says "the occupation  won't end tomorrow' - MEANING that all Israel

is under "occupation" and by " end" he means throwing all Israelis out of ISRAEL  

warmonkey
warmonkey

 Wow-   Quite the conclusion you jumped to there Ted-    or should I be less diplomatic and more pragmatic and call it a ridicules and baseless assumption?

Ted Leavensworth
Ted Leavensworth

Warmonkey - that's all right with me if you call it " a ridicules and baseless assumption" - which means =as long as  you don't call for destruction of  7 million people inhabiting Israel and call it liberation as Palestinians do. We can argue and bring forward our observations but please ....is California occupation of Mexico ?  Selling to ignorant 

reporters ficticious stories of liberation is much more ridicules and baseless... 

Jaysonrex
Jaysonrex

WHY DON'T THEY, THE "PALESTINIANS", TRY WORKING FOR A CHANGE? YES, WORKING. LIVING ON HANDOUTS FROM EUROPEAN (CHRISTIAN) NATIONS, THEY HAVE NOTHING BETTER TO DO THAN 'PROTEST'.

ACTUALLY, IT DOES NOT MATTER WHAT THEY PROTEST ABOUT OR AGAINST. IT MATTER THAT THEY GET A LITTLE EXERCISE BETWEEN ONE AND ANOTHER GAME OF GAMMON, THUS AVOIDING AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE GETTING OBESE FROM EATING TOO MUCH AND DOING TOO LITTLE.

AND WHILE WE ARE 'TALKING' ABOUT THE 'BADLY INVENTED PEOPLE', DOES ANYONE HAVE ANY NEWS ABOUT THEIR DECEASED HIGHLY RADIOACTIVE LEADER YASSER ARAFAT? HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE THE SPECIALISTS TO DETERMINE HOW MUCH POLONIUM THE ISRAELIS FED HIM? AND WHILE THIS TECHNICAL INVESTIGATION GOES ON, DID ANYONE FIND THE NUMBER OF ARAFAT'S SWISS ACCOUNT?    

warmonkey
warmonkey

     What kind of work do you suppose the Palestinians should be doing?

     Construction? Manufacturing?  Farming? Education?

     You don't seem to know anything about the situation. 

ricardo lion
ricardo lion

"As a Palestinian teenager once told me during a demonstration in Ramallah..." But Ramallah , as much of Judea and Samaria, was given to Eyptian Muslim Arab terrorist Arafat and his corrupt PLO.  Judea and Samaria was reconquered from Jordan (and not Palestine, never a country, just the name of a region) in a defensive war.

warmonkey
warmonkey

    Judea and Samaria do not exist- Hasbara buzzwords. 

   "Defensive War" is doublespeak for "attacked"

ricardo lion
ricardo lion

  Arabs don't have a name for that region they invaded.  "West Bank" is not really a name, is it?

   Hasbara?  But do you speak Hebrew, Jesus language?  Congratulations.

ricardo lion
ricardo lion

  To Swiftright Right below:

  Jesus spoke Aramaic, the lingua franca of the region at the time, dead now, just as I speak Enlish, as a second language.  The Jews lanuae in their country was and is Hebrew.