About Skip Schiel

I am a photographer, movie-maker, writer, and political activist, based in Cambridge Massachusetts, USA. Since 2003, one main emphasis has been on the troubles in Palestine and Israel, concentrating on human rights, especially for the Palestinians. In 2010 I began photographing Searching for the Seeds of the New Detroit Miracle, to explore how one sector thrives (downtown and central corridor, some 20% of the area and population), while the rest suffers effects of the recent bankruptcy. Associating these two projects, I now portray parallels between the two regions using water justice as the connector.

Beginning in the spring of 2018 I launched a new project, The Ongoing Nakba, Internally Displaced Palestinian Refugees in the West Bank and Gaza. In two waves, 1948 and 1967, Israel brutally and illegally expelled more than one million human beings from their ancestral lands. They struggle for their right to return. In obvious and painful contrast, Jews anywhere in the world, simply by being Jewish, even without roots in Israel, have a right to Israeli residency and citizenship, often with incentives like housing, medical, and educational benefits.

Besides this political focus I also range between portraits, landscapes, city and industrial explorations, experiments, and portraying my slowly evolving family. A recent project, Twilight, explores light during the “Magic Hour.”

View my photos and movies.

Made by a 10 year old girl living in the Aida Refugee Camp, Bethlehem, West Bank, Occupied Palestine, October 2018

Teaching photography in Gaza, May 2003

Teaching photography in Gaza, May 2006 (Photo by Ibrahim Shadra)

Skip Schiel by Sy Friedland, 2014, Lowell, Massachusetts

Skip Schiel, Lowell Massachusetts, May 2014 (Photo by Sy Friedland)

25 thoughts on “About Skip Schiel

  1. Hi Skip,

    What a lovely, passionate, intense, inspiring, provocative…and on and on….blog.

    I hope to be back for many a visit.



  2. i would like to know if there is a chance to send art supplies and drawings from children in NJ to children in the GAza Strip. I have many supplies and drawings ready to be delivered. i started this project 9 years ago. it is called artalk international. it is a very informal group, but we have been able to send hundreds of pounds of art supplies in small parcels to about 20 couintreis where the children are in need. i would like to send you my brochure. if you are interested or think you can advise me…

    thank you for your courage


    fair lawn, NJ


  3. hello janis,

    i’ll forward your offer to amal sabawi, the director of the gaza quaker youth program. she might have leads. i don’t.

    mail is virtually impossible at this point to gaza. the most reliable transport mechanism is a human being. and how likely is finding such a human being? at the moment, close to zero i’m afraid.

    feel free to send me your brochure.

    would you consider sending those materials to the west bank? much more possible.

    good luck, and thanks for your offer.



  4. hey hey .. what’s up “”oldman”..

    it is really inspiring skip , Boston concert word was just perfect

    me and all palestenians are proud of your intimate solidarity and loyality to rights and justice all the best luck in your very pleasant job.

    N.B ” i am one of unknown hidden skip’s soldiers”

    see ya soon ” alive ” hopefully ..



  5. Dear Skip,

    I’ve just come across your piece of Dec 31 2007 about Salfit–water, sewage, etc. I’m visiting Salfit shortly partly to research the factories, effluents, etc. You mention “S” as being hired to research a factory and whom you went with. Has s/he published any results from this research. If so, can I access it–no point in re-inventing the wheel! Thanks


  6. Thank you for this most informative blog site! I pray that one day, the people of Israel will sit down at the peace table with their fellow Palestinian citizens and neighboring countries. War is not the answer, peace is! Now that Israel has an even more-pronounced hawkish government currently in power, the chances of such diplomacy may not be possible at this time. But I deeply believe that courageous individuals such as Skip can make the difference, and help set the tone for a more diplomatic future. Thank you also for your visit to North Carolina, and helping to make sure that everyone knows the entire truth! Peace and Love to you!


  7. Dear Skip,

    I read your blog entry about Fadia Murad. We are now developing a media project called From the Source working with Media producers from the Jordan-Yarmou river basin countries. From the Source is an interactive multimedia platform for water issues in the Middle East that seeks to put a human face on the region’s rapidly worsening water problems and thus create a new awareness of the value of water among users in the region and beyond. The platform serves as a vehicle for dialogue and to foster interactive debate on a commonly shared problem in the Middle East; the water crisis. It aims to contribute to an environment of peaceful cooperation and intercultural dialogue.

    It would be great if you could be involved as a photographer, we also have a training component for young people in it.
    I can send you more information if you are interested.

    All the best,

    Joshka Wessels


  8. Greetings from Burlington Vermont,

    I’ve been attending Burlington Friends Meeting. Just after Operation Cast Lead, I shared my concern for the peple of Gaza and how they might be helped with medical aid in the Burlington area. One of the ladies spoke of the Hiroshima Maidens. The “seed thought” took on new life. Might you have some photographs to assist the Gaza Phosphorous Burn Project of persons with phosphorous burns? It is the intentions of the project to bring people from Gaza who have been burned by the white phosphorous bombs to the US for reconstruction surgery.

    Already the Palestine Childrens Relief Fund has brought a 3 year old to San Diego for surgery.


    Cliff Bennett


    1. cliff,

      i’m pleased to learn of your interest in aiding victims of israel’s use of white phosphorus on civilians in gaza. in another post i’ll send you photos i’ve gathered from the web and use in my new slide show, gaza steadfast. i’m sure you can find more on the web. i’ve not made any myself.

      thanks for writing,



  9. Thank you for putting all this up here! I’m in graduate school and I’ve just finished 2 courses- one was justice in the face of terror and the other was nationalism and ethnic conflict and in both we discussed the israeli/palestinian conflict. You had a very moving post about Wounded Knee and Gaza that actually fits perfectly with a paper that I am writing for the first class about native american conflicts and justice in the face of terror then, if I can use some of your photographs/quote you would that be alright?

    Thanks! Again amazing work, thank you!



    1. hi addison,

      yes, please use what you need, photos and words, crediting me with “…by skip schiel, teeksaphoto.org, skipschiel.wordpress.com.”

      thanks and good luck with your paper. i hope you’ll remember to send me a copy please.


  10. Peace Mr. Schiel. I am a member of Helping Our Prisoners Elevate. We are currently updating our website and would like to use your picture of a woman working at the Earthworks Urban Farm. https://skipschiel.wordpress.com/2010/07/24/detroit-part-4-urban-farm-detroit-institute-of-art/

    We will not use this picture to make money. This picture reflects the diversity that we want our resources to represent for men and women who were formerly incarcerated. Thank you for your consideration.

    Oya Amakisi


    1. oya amakisi,

      you have my permission to use the photo of the woman on the detroit urban farm with the qualification that you mentioned, not earning money from its use.

      thanks for your interest—and for asking, good luck with your worthy efforts,



  11. Dear Skip
    it is Heliana….your brazilian step daugther….
    how are you??? I had sent you an email but it came back….I want to get in touch …I heard about the bombing in Boston…and heard about Watertown
    It will be nice to hear from you….take care, Heliana


  12. Dear Skip,
    As co-editor of the Maryknoll Affiliates’ newsletter, I would like to use one of your photos of Amos Gvirtz to illustrate an article about his recent visit to Rockford, IL. Our newsletter is free to members and interested persons (under 1,000 total circulation) and is also posted on our website: MaryknollAffiliates.org. If given permission to use the photo, I would show, “Photo by Skip Schiel, used with permission” or whatever wording you would prefer.
    With thanks for your consideration, Paula


  13. HI Skip
    so nice to see a little bit of your work and family.
    Made me remember the time I used to live in Watertown!
    Take care,


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