by Tanya Habjouqa
Occupied Pleasures presents a nuanced, multi-dimensional portrayal of humanity’s ability to find pleasure in the face of trying circumstances in Occupied West Bank, Jerusalem, and Gaza. Occupied Pleasures straddles passive and active meanings: to be occupied under Israel, and to occupy oneself, joyfully and defiantly, in pastime and simple pleasures.
More than four million Palestinians live in the West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem, where the political situation regularly intrudes upon the most mundane of moments. Movement is circumscribed and threat of violence often hangs overhead. This creates the strongest of desires for the smallest of pleasures, and a sharp sense of humour about the absurdities that a 49 year occupation has produced. Occupied Pleasures was heralded by TIME magazine and the Smithsonian as one of the best photo books of 2015 (winning her a World Press Photo award in 2014).