TYO’s Photographers Focus In On Personal Realities
Each photo taken by a Triple Exposure photography student at TYO is a self-portrait and each is a vignette of introspection that, as a whole, contributes to a personal narrative. These photos serve to chronicle both emotional and material vestiges of a student’s life experiences under political conflict. Equally as important to this process of self-exploration are reflections on photos taken by others, from which TYO’s students can extract internalized meanings and significance regardless of the photographer’s intentions. In Triple Exposure, a TYO program dedicated to engaging youth through art and self-expression, viewing is just as much an art as creating; each student's interpretation of a photograph will be different depending on his or her own personality and background. Interpreting visual messages allows TYO’s students to acknowledge and develop emotions that are difficult to put into words. Photographs distance the viewer from the present and offer an opportunity for contemplation about individual realities and even a reinterpretation of their experiences.
This week, students have used autobiographical photos as tools to reflect on their identities and capture distinctive abstractions of personal realities through self-portraits. Communicating these concepts with the camera compels students to exercise creative thinking skills and express themselves in non-verbal ways that reflect on their identities and feelings. As they enhance their self-awareness by conveying emotions like fear, frustration, beauty, and love, photography students at TYO will capture candid but artistic representations of the Nabulsi experience. As they continue to develop their camera skills, their capacity to portray creative and profound depictions of Palestinian identities and communities will grow and their work will continue reveal both difficult and beautiful realities of life in Nablus.
Zak is an intern at TYO in Nablus