Thursday, 9 September 2010

Tadamon: Images Of Solidarity And Strength In Palestine

Wednesday 08 September 2010

PEACE CAMP: Palestinian women in Nablus attend a tent protest against the Gaza siege      pic: Pennie Quinton

Photographer, film-maker and human rights campaigner Pennie Quinton is familiar to many on the London activist scene.

Since late 2004, she has spent much time living and working in occupied Palestine. Now, with a large photographic archive to draw on, Quinton has selected some of her best work from Palestine for this new exhibition, named Tadamon after the Arabic word for solidarity.

The photos comprise three broad sections - popular resistance against Israel's apartheid wall, a massive 2008 funeral procession for four assassinated resistance fighters in the Bethlehem area, and Nablus solidarity demonstrations for Gaza during Israel's brutal 2008-9 onslaught against the coastal enclave.

Some of the best images, though, are expressions of Palestinian cultural resistance through popular dance and music.

While familiar signifiers of the conflict such as slingshot-welding youth are represented, Quinton has steered away from the typical. In one striking close-up, her camera homes in on the sons of a murdered fighter as they almost literally force the tears back into each other's eyes.

Basem Abu Rahme, a non-violent martyr in a village's struggle to regain its annexed land, is pictured a year before his murder at the hand of Israeli forces displaying some of the hundreds of spent tear gas shells collected by the people of Bil'in. It would be the impact from one of these, fired at high velocity, that caused his death on April 18 2009.

The exhibition is a healthy antidote to the wearisome "balance" syndrome that most of the media falls prey to in this country which falsely assumes parity of power between colonised and coloniser.

Quinton's sympathetic eye for the Palestinian people shines through in this deeply humanistic collection.

Runs until October 5 at Freedom Bookshop, Angel Alley, 84b Whitechapel High Street, London E1. Open from 12pm-6pm Monday to Saturday and 12pm-4pm on Sunday.

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Tadamon Exhibition: images of solidarity & strength in Palestine

Tadamon means solidarity in Arabic and these images show moments of strength witnessed in the Palestinian struggle for survival.

Moments following extra-judicial killings of beloved members of the community wanted by the Israeli government.

People of Nablus protest against 2008/2009 war on Gaza in the Safe place for Gaza tent.©Pennie Quinton 201o

Moments in which people in the West Bank are forced to deal with their confusion and pain brought on by the Gaza war of 2008/2009 – combined with the Palestinian Authority clamping down on protest in the West bank at this desperate time.

Moments such as the bravery of children whose first language has become the politics of survival, out on the streets hurling stones at the wall following yet another bombardment of their cousins in Gaza.

Boy kicks tear gas grenade back towards the wall Bethlehem March 2008 ©Pennie Quinton 2010

Or moments of the villagers of Nilin and B' lin facing tear gas and stun grenades in their protests, held every Friday since 2004, resisting the illegal apartheid wall built on village lands.

Nilin October 2008 ©Pennie Quinton 2010

There is a saying in Palestine that ‘to be Palestinian is to exist to resist‘ and this essential stubbornness and refusal to disappear, this insistence on being continually present in the face of ongoing repression that interferes in every area of life, is a potent force in the demand for sovereignty.

The price of this is high, and people have been paying it since 1948. But there is no choice but to keep on paying it to resist is to survive.

Corpse of Mohammad Shehada assassinated by Israeli forces 12th March 2008 ©Pennie Quinton 2010

I love and admire this Palestinian strength in the struggle for self-determination and the moments where dancing and joy overflow despite everything.

Boys dance Dubka at Sabastia ancient amphitheatre Nakba 2008 ©Pennie Quinton 2010

I am proud to share some of these moments I was honoured to witness during my work in Palestine.

Tadamon Exhibition opening night private view is on the 2nd September at the Freedom Gallery. above Freedom book shop in Angel Alley off Whitechapel High Street. Nearest Tube Aldgate East.

The Tadamon Exhibtion is open 12.00 – 18.00 Monday to Saturday and Sunday 12.00- 1600 until October the 5th.

Freedom Bookshop
Angel Alley
84b Whitechapel High Street
London E1 7QX

Opening hours
: Monday to Saturday Midday till 6pm, Midday till 4pmSunday
020 7247 9249

Friday, 9 July 2010

The great balcony flowering.

©Pennie Quinton 2010

©Pennie Quinton 2010

©Pennie Quinton 2010

Monday, 24 May 2010

Thames at dawn

©Pennie Quinton 2010

©Pennie Quinton 2010

©Pennie Quinton 2010

©Pennie Quinton 2010

©Pennie Quinton 2010

©Pennie Quinton 2010

I have never seen the Thames looking so smooth and clear before.

©Pennie Quinton 2010

©Pennie Quinton 2010

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

TUC Welfare protest and 1st picnic of 2010

©Pennie Quinton

©Pennie Quinton

©Pennie Quinton

Monday, 12 April 2010

Danger of Tory Sus-style searches

By promising to reduce 'unnecessary' paperwork, the Tories would remove the last safeguards for stop-and-search victims

Today is the deadline for the government's submission to the European court of human rights requesting that 17 judges reconsider the original decision reached unanimously by seven judges last year – that being stopped and searched without suspicion under section 44 of the Terrorism Act 2000 was a serious violation of the right to privacy. The section 44 test case test case that Kevin Gillan and I took with Liberty set out to demonstrate the scope for misuse and lack of accountability of the power.

Section 44 has often been viewed as Labour's reintroduction of the notorious Sus laws that provoked the 1981 Brixton riots following the police operation "Swamp" – an attempt to cut street crime which used the Sus law to stop more than 1,000 people without suspicion over six days. Recent statistics show that young black people and British Asian people are still six times more likely to be stopped by the police under a variety of search powers than white people.

A powerful new British film, called Sus, will open at the East End film festival on 24 April. Based on a true story, Sus is a harrowing illustration of what can go wrong when police powers are insufficiently regulated. Set on the eve of the 1979 general election, Delroy's pregnant wife has been found dead in a pool of blood. He is brought in under the Sus laws as the main suspect and suffers a night of degrading humiliation from two racist police officers. Rather than seeking to establish the truth, they resort to a brutal interrogation which will shatter Delroy's world forever.

In recent years, a populist campaigning tool of the Conservative party has been to use a "pot calling kettle" rhetoric on Labour's attacks on civil liberties. In the Conservative draft manifesto, while maintaining they will abolish section 44's stop-and-search powers, they still seek to reintroduce old Sus-style searches, eliminating the receipt we are entitled to receive as evidence. Without the form, there is even less accountability and fewer safeguards for the person searched. From the manifesto:

A Conservative government will reduce the amount of paperwork that the police have to deal with, starting by cutting the stop form entirely and reducing the burden of stop-and-search procedures. Any search will still be recorded but by an officer radioing in, rather than filling in time-consuming paperwork.

"Radioing a search in", as the Conservative draft manifesto suggests, does not provide this safeguard. If a police officer needs to search, what appeal do we have against their decision? Submission to the process is the only option to avoid a potentially tense situation accelerating as the receipt demonstrates that we have co-operated fully with the procedure. In the power relations that necessarily exist between the police forces and the public, accountability is a necessary reassurance.

• Sus will open at the Rich Mix Saturday 24 April 8pm, followed by a panel discussion with the filmmaker, actors Clint Dyer, Rafe Spall and Ralph Brown, and guests Doreen Lawrence, Stephen Kamlish QC, David Akinsanya, Pennie Quinton and Corinne Ferguson

East End Blossom