Barbara Debeuckelaere: ’Om (Mother) / Publication
Barbara Debeuckelaere: ’Om (Mother)
The Eriskay Connection

Mother, I will not name you a woman,
I will name you everything.
– Mahmoud Darwish

’Om (Mother) is a collaborative photography project by Barbara Debeuckelaere (BE) and all the women of eight families from Tel Rumeida in Hebron, Palestine. Apart from Jerusalem, Hebron is the only place in the West Bank where radical Israeli settlers live in the heart of a Palestinian city, and is home to several sites sacred to both Jews and Arabs. The entanglement of small and heavily guarded settlements cuts up historic neighbourhoods into small sectors with checkpoints, severely restricting the freedom of movement of Palestinian residents. Since only two per cent of the Old City’s population is Israeli, protected by more than twice as many soldiers, tensions in this split society regularly escalate.

Apart from the lingering conflict and illegal occupation, Palestinians are under constant surveillance and face the immediate threat of their colonist neighbours violently harassing them, which they do with impunity. Although both men and women suffer from this situation, women are rarely heard or seen, as they mostly stay at home, fearing for their own and their childrens’ safety. Therefore, news reports items on the conflict usually see Palestinian men fighting back or suffering violence.

In ’Om (Mother), the Palestinian women of Tel Rumeida claim agency by handling the camera themselves to document their lives, their homes, and their immediate surroundings. The camera is used to show their perseverance and expose the ambiguity of home. By showing the world their determination to continue their daily lives under occupation, these women are participating in the ultimate act of resistance.

320 pages, 115 × 165 mm, English
Exposed selfcover with dust cover
First edition: 900
ISBN: 9789083357171

Barbara Debeuckelaere: Om Mother
The Eriskay Connection

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