Your sensitivity to light and emotion is dramatic, the brilliant daylight framing the sad courageous eyes and brave determined expressions of our Gaza neighbors, as they face such a cruel, demented, and terrifying adversary.
I think you are very brave too, and I thank you deeply for shining a true light on these barbaric crimes committed with America’s complete support.
From early March thru end of May 2015 I photographed, videoed, and wrote in Palestine-Israel, north to south, east to west, Israel and Palestine, wet and dry, happy and tragic, brightly lit (oh that Mediterranean Light!) and dark. With what I hope is an open heart, available to all parties, a fair-eyed and handed treatment of different experiences, I labored. I can now offer five new photographic presentations. Do you know of venues where I might show these? (I am planning a five week tour to California and Alaska in the spring of 2016.)
With the support of many in my local and national Quaker community, since 2003 I have travelled to Israel and Palestine to investigate and portray conditions and struggles. I have worked with a variety of organizations, both Israeli and Palestinian and joint organizations, volunteering to make photographs for them that I also can circulate as slide shows and print exhibitions. My hope is to open eyes and doors and windows, encouraging awareness and action.
Thru my Lens: Palestine-Israel
The look, feel and meaning of the situation in this troubled region.
Based on my recent journey of faith in action, I show and discuss my photographs about coexistence, Palestinians in Jerusalem, the Freedom Bus Ride thru the West Bank, Gaza’s Israeli neighbors, the hydropolitics of the Jordan River and Dead Sea, and other topics.
Conversations across barriers—Some 70 Palestinians, Israelis, and a few internationals met for two days in a Global Village Square. A project of the Center for Emerging Futures, this was held at the Everest Hotel in Bethlehem under the shadow of the separation barrier.
The Freedom Bus Ride thru the Palestinian West Bank
A slideshow about Palestinians under occupation practicing exemplary strategic nonviolent resistance.
The renowned Freedom Theater of Jenin West Bank organized a two week bus journey inspired by the Freedom Movement and Freedom Bus Rides in the United States, some 60 international and Palestinian riders, to explore some of the most attacked and resilient communities in the West Bank—Bil’in, Tuwani, Nabi Salih, the Jordan Valley, and Jerusalem itself, known for their creative struggles against oppression.
Popular Resistance in the village of Nabi Salih—Seeking justice and freedom and organized by the Freedom Theater of Jenin, the Freedom Bus travels to sites of suffering and resistance in the West Bank, Occupied Palestine.
Jerusalem Day: the Controversial March of Flags
A slideshow about the annual celebration of Jerusalem’s “reunification.”
In reality, Jerusalem is not unified, but in the eyes of many of its Palestinian residents it is occupied. Violence in this holy city has recently escalated. All governments refuse to locate their embassies there, but instead base in Tel Aviv. The march provocatively begins in Sheik Jarrah, a contested Palestinian neighborhood, marches thru the eastern, largely Palestinian, sector of Jerusalem, thru the Damascus Gate, and into the Muslim Quarter to the Western Wall. I photographed and videoed this year’s March, trying to carefully depict both sides of the controversy. I accompany the short movie with a slideshow about Jerusalem from a Palestinian perspective.
Gaza’s Israeli Neighbors
A movie about courageous Israelis advocating for talks, not tanks, diplomacy, not war.
Living within one mile of Gaza, these Israelis suffer the brunt of rocket and mortar attacks from Gaza, most recently infiltration as well. Yet some have formed an organization called Other Voice that calls for an intelligent and humane response to the violence and injustice in their neighborhood, in league with similarly minded Gazans.
Nomika Zion, author of “War Diary from Sderot,” written during Operation Cast Lead in 2008-09, the predecessor to the last war
Holy Water—The Jordan River, Sea of Galilee, & Dead Sea
A photographic exhibition.
Ample in the upper Jordan, threatened in the Galilean Sea, shrunk to mostly wastewater in the Lower Jordan, and the Dead Sea rapidly dying, this photographic series intersects regional history, geology, hydropolitics, and the global climate crisis. Water rights powerfully demand justice, security, peace, and reconciliation.
Water rescue training in the Upper Jordan
Sea of Galilee
Baptism in the Lower Jordan at Qasr el Yahud, the Israeli site
FROM EARLIER TRIPS:
Eyewitness Gaza (movie)
About current conditions and struggles in Gaza based on my photography, directed by Tom Jackson of Joe Public Films. The context is the Arab Spring.
Eyewitness Gaza (book)
Photography of the current conditions & struggles in the Gaza Strip, Occupied Palestine, from 2004 thru 2012
Timeline: Palestine & Israel
An inclusive history in slideshow form from the First Zionist Conference in 1897 to the present.
“You don’t change the course of history by turning the faces of portraits to the wall” (Jawaharlal Nehru)
Portraits of a wide variety of people through out Palestine-Israel.
Though unquestionably didactic, Skip Schiel’ s images are also haunting glimpses of the perilous nature of life in Gaza. The photographs never feel invasive or forced; they simply capture moments of intimate truth between photographer and subject.
—Sarah Correia (Fuse Visual Arts Review: “Gaza in Photographs: Up Close and Personal”—artsfuse.org/?p=26044)
Skip Schiel has been documenting the Palestinian and Israeli reality through photographs and journal postings since 2003—work with a better feel for the detailed texture of life in Gaza and the West Bank than any appearing in US media. Schiel spends time where most journalists dare not tread, amidst ordinary Palestinians, sharing in the dangers and frustrations of their lives.
His work has been invaluable for my own. As a writer for a Buddhist publication whose parents were victims of the Holocaust, I try to convey a view of the conflict that differs from the US media’s, which obfuscates the injustices and sufferings inflicted on the Palestinians by Israel. Through his portraits of Palestinian men, women, and children striving to maintain ordinary routines despite harassment and attacks by Israel’s military, Skip reveals to us the true face of Palestinians.
—Annette Herskovits, former consulting editor, Turning Wheel, the Journal of the Buddhist Peace Fellowship
You capture such powerful, symbolic moments in your work, that reach beyond the context they are in. I admire your brave tenacity and commitment to documentation of this struggle for justice.
—Marjorie Wright, filmmaker and activist
Skip Schiel photographs not only with his eyes but with his heart.
—Fares Oda, former staff American Friends Service Committee, Ramallah, West Bank, Occupied Palestinian Territories