“Fire and Stones: A State of Being”

PhotographerEmine Gozde Sevim
PrizeHonorable Mention
City/CountryBrooklyn, Turkey
Photo Date2010
Technical InfoDigital
Entry Description

“Fire and Stones: A State of Being” is a visual testimony about the psychological state of a nation under occupation. Made in 2010 in the West Bank, moving beyond the cliché imagery of the “stone throwing Palestinian kid in kefaya” engraved in our collective memory, these photographs portray the emotional space of an oppressed Palestinian identity. As a photographer, I am not interested in defining the victims or the villains of the story. My aim is to explore the emotional state that Palestinians collectively endure day to day despite political divisions among themselves.

About Photographer

Emine Gozde Sevim (b. 1985 in Istanbul, Turkey) arrived in the United States as a scholarship student in high school where she first began learning about the photographic medium in 2001. She then graduated from Bard College in 2008 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Photography, Sociology and International Relations. During her college years, Sevim studied old and new photographic traditions with Gilles Peress, Stephen Shore, An-My Lê and Barbara Ess. As a result of her developing interest in the convergence between film/video and photography, she began experimenting with multimedia storytelling. Her first "photo-roman" piece was exhibited as part of a group exhibition "Stage Sight" in the Opera House of Hudson, in upstate New York in 2007. For her undergraduate thesis exhibition, she created a multimedia film entitled "In Search of Audra Prokofiev", along side of a photographic exhibition with the same title in 2008 at Bard College's Woods Gallery. Following graduation, Sevim was invited to work with photographers of the Magnum Photos Agency in New York. Between 2008 and 2012, she assisted Bruce Gilden, Gilles Peress, and Susan Meiselas on various independent photographic projects in field research, studio production, exhibitions, and multimedia storytelling assignments for international venues. In 2010, Sevim joined Marco Bischof, filmmaker and director of the Werner Bischof Estate in Switzerland, in the development of the MagnumTime project of the Magnum Foundation, a non-linear interactive oral history project on photographic traditions where she worked as cinematographer and associate producer. In 2007, Sevim embarked on an on-going body of work across the Middle East, "The Believers", about life in contested geographies of the region. Her photographs from Afghanistan were exhibited at New York University as part of a panel discussion on Afghan identity in the U.S. in 2009. In 2011, she began photographing in Egypt to document life in transition since the fall of former president Hosni Mubarak. As of 2012, Sevim began merely focusing on her photographic projects in Egypt and across the Middle East. She currently divides her time between New York and Cairo.