Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Democracy Now! | Shooting Back: The Israeli Human Rights Group B'Tselem Gives Palestinians Video Cameras to Document Life Under Occupation.

Democracy Now! | Shooting Back: The Israeli Human Rights Group B'Tselem Gives Palestinians Video Cameras to Document Life Under Occupation.

rthe whole article is important -- read it -- but this section is interesting here because it's a positive (rather than disparaging) example of Susan Sontag's equation of the camera with a gun.

" AMY GOODMAN: And the title of this project, why did you choose “Shooting Back”?

OREN YAKOBOVICH: Because it’s shooting back. It’s, first of all, kind of a weapon that a Palestinian has against human rights violation. Of course, I would prefer that people will have cameras and not guns. So it’s—and then they are shooting back.

AMY GOODMAN: And what, ultimately, do you hope to achieve?

OREN YAKOBOVICH: First of all, I have to say that we’re spreading more and more cameras all over the West Bank. In every place when there is a tension and [inaudible], we give them cameras. This is very important. And I know that it’s protecting the Palestinians. There are places that we know, when the Palestinian is taking out the camera, the settlers will run away, will escape, happening a lot in south of the West Bank.

It’s giving power. You know, this word is called “empowerment.” I don’t like this word so much, but I will use it. It’s the children and the kids are filming. It’s helping to mobilize communities. In Hebron, where the community was destroyed, suddenly they’re filming and they have some kind of an interest in seeing the videos, talking about it. And what I hope to achieve, that everything is going to be filmed, at least in the—there’s going to be a feeling that everything is being filmed, nothing is being done in the dark. And this what B’Tselem was basically established for, to bring light to places that are in the dark so violation will not occur."

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