With the support of many in his local and national Quaker community, Skip Schiel has been traveling since 2003 to Israel and Palestine to investigate and portray conditions and struggles. He has worked with a variety of organizations, both Israeli and Palestinian and joint organizations, volunteering to make photographs for them that he also can circulate as slide shows and print exhibitions. Schiel’s hope is to open eyes and doors and windows, encouraging awareness and action.
This presentation, moderated by Dr. Nancy Murray (www.gazamentalhealth.org and author of Rights Matter: the Story of the Bill of Right, www.rightsmatter.org), will be video recorded as the major scene in a forthcoming movie, Eyewitness Gaza, and the evening will begin with a preview of the movie being made by Tom Jackson of Joe Public Films in cooperation with Adham Khalil in Gaza. Sample footage can be found at www.joepublicfilms.com, as well as at http://vimeo.com/11551687.
Further Background on Skip Schiel:
A participatory photographer, photographing while engaging in struggles for justice, peace, right treatment of the environment, and enlightenment, Skip Schiel makes photos for publications, exhibits, slide shows, and individual use. His primary current project is a photographic examination of conditions in Palestine & Israel. Other projects include retracing the Transatlantic African slave trade journey (A Spirit People), the earth (Scent of Earth), prisons (Imprisoned Massachusetts), and a Buddhist-led pilgrimage from Auschwitz to Hiroshima (Passing Through).
Schiel has also photographed environmental desecration, racism and racial justice, South Africa, poverty, American Indians, the US South, and resistance to oppressive regimes in the US and abroad. He is exploring digital technology, curious about its influence on photography — producing, consuming, and thinking about the photograph.
Since 1990 Schiel has been teaching at the Cambridge Center of Adult Education, ranging from basic photography to digital darkroom and photographic field workshops concentrating on light in photography. He has also taught photography at the Landscape Institute formerly at Harvard, the Quaker Palestine Youth Program in Palestine, filmmaking for 10 years at Boston College, and various workshops at Quaker gatherings. Schiel joins with others in various campaigns for peace, justice, reconciliation, & truth-telling. He plays, experiments, & contemplates — and for this he may get arrested and imprisoned periodically. Maybe he joins a pilgrimage, a vigil, a rally or a talk or an outing along a river; maybe he simply stays home and absorbs the afternoon light.
Skip Schiel is a socially engaged photographer, making photographs for the viewer, for his family and friends, and for those not yet born, so that they might know him more intimately. And he makes photographs for himself in order to remember where and when he existed.
Visit teeksaphoto.org and skipschiel.wordpress.com for more information on Skip Schiel. Go specifically to http://skipschiel.wordpress.com/2011/01/19/eyewitness-gaza-a-movie-thru-my-lens/ for more on the movie making in Gaza.