Home > Uncategorized > Gaza Journal – Putting Lens on Lives in Suspended Animation in Gaza – NYTimes.com

Gaza Journal – Putting Lens on Lives in Suspended Animation in Gaza – NYTimes.com

January 6, 2010
Gaza Journal

Putting Lens on Lives in Suspended Animation in Gaza

GAZA — In the year since Israeli fighter jets and troops invaded this coastal Palestinian strip to stop rocket fire, time seems to have stood still. A blockade imposed by both Israel and Egypt to isolate the Hamas government bars the vast majority of goods and people from moving in or out. That means there is no reconstruction of destroyed buildings. Thousands remain homeless. Winter has arrived.

With humanitarian aid staving off hunger and disease, perhaps the hardest part for people here is the feeling of having been forsaken. The economy is closed down and the exits have been shuttered; a pall of listlessness hovers.

But there are thousands of stories in the wake of the war and in the face of the blockade. The Israeli human rights group B’Tselem decided to do something about getting them out, especially to an Israeli audience. Months ago it distributed video cameras to 18 young people in Gaza and set them up with an instructor and Web guidance. The assignment: tell us about your lives.

“The idea was to help people there communicate their struggles to Israelis, to combat the fear and stereotypes,” said Sarit Michaeli, spokeswoman for B’Tselem. “They are an hour’s drive from Tel Aviv but so much farther for most Israelis.”

The result is a series of short subtitled videos on a variety of topics: working in the smuggling tunnels from the Egyptian Sinai, how the wounded are doing, a profile of a girls’ soccer team.

Israel’s biggest news Web site, Ynet, which belongs to the Yediot Aharonot newspaper group, has just posted five of the videos under the headline “Gaza: An inside look.” Because so little from Gaza makes it into the Israeli news media — Israeli journalists, like all Israelis, have been barred by their government from entering for more than three years — this is something of a new frontier.

Personal media sprouts where the professionals can no longer go or no longer want to go.

Posted via web from Ted’s Nothing but Net Explorations

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