Occupied Pleasures

Tanya Habjouqa

January- February 2016

Tanya Habjouqa at the opening

Having lived in Jordan and the United States, Tanya Habjouqa relocated to East Jerusalem in 2011, and started facing the daily restrictions imposed on Palestinians. "It would be during a lot of these sort of black, operatic, Kafkaesque moments waiting at checkpoints that I would see really funny scenes around me, of how people were letting the stress out." This is how Occupied Pleasures was born. The series, and the eponymous hardcover book, have received international praise. But showing them in Palestine takes special meaning for the artist. "Emotionally it means the most for me to be able to show the work there. This was a love letter to Palestine in many ways....and while the work was successful outside, the most important audience for me are those who live it. Who opened their lives to me. Especially in Gaza, a place I cannot access these days and whose people truly opened up the most intimate part of their lives."

Tanya Habjouqa was born in Jordan and studied in the United States, before moving to London to pursue her Master of Arts degree in Global Media and Middle East Politics from the University of London, SOAS. She began her photography career in Texas, documenting migrant Mexican communities and urban poverty before returning to the Middle East. Tanya is a freelance photography, writer, and founding member of the Rawiya Photo Collective, as well as a recipient of the Magnum Foundation 2013 Emergency Fund and finalist for the 2014 Fotoevidence Book Award.

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