Friday, January 8, 2010

B'Tselem launches new video project in Gaza []


Ayman Mghamis, a Gazan rapper, teaches an audience at a local center to use hip-hop as a means of self-expression. Filmed by Muhammad al-Majdalawi, a student volunteering in B'Tselem's video project, Gaza City, October 2009.

Videos from Gaza: An inside look<,7340,L-8111,00.html>
Since November 2006, Israeli journalists have been barred from entering the Gaza Strip, and the Israeli public receives almost no coverage of reality there. This dearth of information is especially regretful given the high level of animosity that has accompanied the hostilities between Israel and Hamas in recent years. B'Tselem has decided to combat the uniformity of Israeli public discourse on the matter, as a necessary part of our ongoing advocacy to end Israel's siege on the Gaza Strip, to allow reconstruction of Gaza and to promote accountability for violations of the laws of war during the operation.

To this end, in early 2009, immediately after Operation Cast Lead ended, B'Tselem's video department selected 15 young Gazans, most of them communications or journalism students, gave them video cameras, and asked them to document everyday life around them. As the Gaza Strip is largely cut off from the outside world, the Internet played a crucial role in the project, and the training was conducted mostly through Skype video conferencing and telephone calls.

The result is a series of short films depicting various aspect of life in Gaza, reflecting each volunteer's viewpoint. The films show a rarely-seen side of life in Gaza, capturing moments of joy, creativity, absurdity and prosaic routine along with familiar images of suffering and despair. In an unusual move, Israel's premier news site - Ynet - devoted a special feature to these films. The importance of putting a human face on the siege on Gaza cannot be underestimated.

Click to view the films on Ynet<,7340,L-8111,00.html>
Click to read a New York Times lead story on the project<>

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