Tanya Habjouqa: Occupied Pleasures

East Wing, A New Platform for Photography, presents Tanya Habjouqa’s exhibition entitled Occupied Pleasures, curated by Lars Willumeit. The exhibition focuses on daily life in Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem, where more than four million people live under arduous political and economic conditions with limited freedom of movement. Occupied Pleasures, the 2014 World Press Award winning project by Tanya Habjouqa was made between 2011 – 2014. Small, but far from insignificant moments of daily life are observed with a sharp sense of humor, revealing a narrative which stands in stark contrast to more widely viewed reportage, focused on violence and conflict.

Tanya Habjouqa explains the need for this shift in vision: “The Palestinian visual narrative, as represented in western media, is often portrayed through a narrow prism. Despite the inability of Palestinians to maintain and sustain a normal way of life, and amidst this jarring reality, men, women and children often manage to steal moments of simple joys – quirky, modest occasions of happiness that range from taking a spin on a merry go-around to riding horses, or imagining a tropical adventure all the while standing against a colorful backdrop with a live parakeet in a simple studio in a refugee camp.“

Tanya Habjouqa was born in Jordan in 1975. She was educated as an anthropologist in the United States, receiving her masters degree in Global Media and Middle East Politics from the University of London, School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS). A founding member of Rawiya, an all female Middle East based photo collective, she has worked on the front lines in Iraq, Lebanon, Darfur, and Gaza. Habjouqa is a recipient of the Magnum Foundation 2013 Emergency Fund and won a World Press Award in “Daily Life Stories” 2nd Prize for her project Occupied Pleasures at the World Press Photo Contest 2014 in Amsterdam. Tanya is known for gaining unique access to sensitive gender, social and human rights stories in the Middle East. Her series “Women of Gaza” is in the permanent collection of the Boston Museum of Fine Art. She was also a finalist for the 2014 FotoEvidence Book Award.

Lars Willumeit is a German curator and anthropologist with an interest in photography, regimes of representation and visual cultures.

Special Opening Reception 20 May at 6:00pm

  • Artists:
    Tanya Habjouqa
  • Open:
    Tuesday, 20 May 2014
  • Close:
    Thursday, 10 July 2014
  • Address:
    East Wing, Limestone House # 12, Dubai International Financial Center, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
  • Mail:
    Elie Domit, Director:  elie@east-wing.org
  • Phone:
    +971 5055 33 879
  • Web:
    East Wing
  • Opening hour:
    Sat – Thu | 10am – 10pm; Fri | 4 pm – 10 pm
  • Photo credits:
    Photos by Tanya Habjouqa, courtesy of the artist and East Wing


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