Occupied Palestinian Territories, West Bank, August 2013. After grueling traffic at the Qalandia checkpoint, a young man enjoys a cigarette in his car as traffic finally clears on the last evening of Ramadan. A sheep, this year's sacrificial lamb for Eid, fills the entire passenger seat. Tanya Habjouqa/NOOR from the series «Occupied Pleasures» 2013.

Tanya Habjouqa: Birds Unaccustomed to Gravity + Picture of the Year: Exhibition & Seminar

Award-winning photographer, filmmaker and anthropologist Tanja Habjouqa (Jordan/US) opens Fotografihuset’s 2024 programme with a joint exhibition and seminar organised in collaboration with Preus Museum and OsloMet, based on her ongoing work from Palestine; Birds Unaccustomed to Gravity.
Alongside Habjouqa’s outdoor exhibition, the Project Space will screen all winning entries to Årets Bilde 2023 (Picture of the Year); the Press Photographers’ Club’s annual prize for the best in Norwegian photo and video journalism.  
Having spent 13 years in East Jerusalem with a husband and two Palestinian children, Tanya Habjouqa’s photographic eye has much in common with the Palestinian proverb “A distress makes you laugh, and a distress makes you cry,”  which was recited in her book “Occupied Pleasures”, which TIME Magazine mentioned as one of the best photo books in 2015.
With her unique perspective, she has mapped the physical and psychological boundaries that have defined Palestinian life during the occupation and up until the watershed on October 7. last year, when Gaza was hermetically closed to outside journalists. Habjouqa’s first solo exhibition in Norway, which is titled “Birds Unaccustomed to Gravity”, also includes photos taken on the West Bank in late November 2023 and includes excerpts from both “Occupied Pleasures” and the ongoing series “Birds Unaccustomed to Gravity”.  Both series trace the losses and victories that define Palestinian life; shattering confrontations, microscopic liberations, and the forging, holding, and remembering of space. She explores the tensions within and around landscapes and characters etched into the lives of the land’s occupied and occupying populations.

In connection with the opening weekend, Fotografihuset – in collaboration with Preus museum and OsloMet – organise the seminar “Images from Gaza: The Politics of Representation”.

In addition to contributions from Tanya Habjouqa and philosopher Arne Johan Vetlesen, there will be a dialogue between these two and, among others, political scientist Sylo Taraku; head of the research group MEKK (Media in War and Conflict) at OsloMet Kristin Skare Orgeret; social anthropologist, researcher, journalist, editor and author Anne Hege Simonsen; head of the Palestine Committee Line Khateeb and photo editor in the paper VG Espen Rasmussen.

March 13 – SEMINAR in collaboration with Preus Museum and OsloMet: «Images from Gaza: The Politics of Representation»,  17–19.30 in OsloMet’s auditorium Athene 1, Pilestredet 46, Clara Holst hus. Free entry.
EXHIBITION OPENING in collaboration with Preus Museum: Birds Unaccustomed to Gravity Årets Bilde, 16 March, at 15.00 at Fotografihuset at Sukkerbiten.
Born in Jordan and raised between Texas and the Middle East, award-winning journalist, artist, filmmaker and anthropologist Tanya Habjouqa (b. 1975) has become a leading advocate for innovation in photojournalism and documentary practice. With a mordant sense of irony fused with unstinting, forensic interrogations of the implications of geopolitical conflict on human lives, Habjouqa weaves narratives infused with folklore and dark humor. Trained in anthropology and journalism, with an MA in Global Media and emphasis on Middle Eastern politics, her work focuses on identity politics, occupation, dispossession, human rights and subcultures of the Levant.
She is the co-founder of Rawiya, the first female photography collective from the Middle East, and is a mentor in the Arab Documentary Program, providing marginalized narratives and narrative-creators with the space and skills to tell their stories. Her work is in the collections of the MFA Boston, the Institut du Monde Arab, and the Carnegie Museum of Art. She is a Nikon Europe Ambassador and advisor and teacher for the NOOR Foundation and the Nikon NOOR academy. Habjouqa is represented by the East Wing Gallery.

Gillian Laub: Family Matters + Gunhild Enger: Prematur

Mom and Dad with the Wedding Planner, 2008 © Gillian Laub

Gillian Laub: Family Matters + Gunhild Enger: Prematur

The last twenty years, Gillian Laub has been using her camera to document the emotional and political landscape of her own New York-family. Family Matters explores Laubs rising uncomfort about her family’s extravagant lifestyle and worries connected to privileges and family ties – an uncomfort that becomes stronger when Gillian one day finds out her parents are on opposite sides in the most split political campagne and presidentship in newer American history. As the sharp political divide manifests itself between the family’s two wings of supporters and opponents of Trump, Laub’s family emerges as a metaphor for a nation still grappling with polarizing political realities. Ultimately, Family Matters is also a celebration of unwavering familial love in the face of divisive rhetoric.

Family Matters was published by Aperture in 2021, one of the world’s leading and most prestigious photography publishers. The project has received extensive press coverage in, among others, New York Times, Washington Post and Time Magazine, and was recently shown at theInternational Centre of Photography i New York. This is her first exhibition in Norway.

Family Matters is excerpted from an exhibition originated at the International Center of Photography, New York.


Film showing Saturdays and Sundays 13-18
© Gunhild Enger

Parallel to Laub’s exhibition, Gunhild Enger’s short film Premature is shown in Fotografihuset’s project room. Prematur is about Norwegian Martin and his pregnant Spanish girlfriend, Lucia. We get to see the first 15 minutes Lucia spends on Norwegian soil, her first encounter with Norwegian culture and future parents-in-law: a meeting characterized by nervousness, expectations and misunderstandings.

Opening on April 30th at Sukkerbiten, Oslo. Welcome!

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