Thoughts and Impressions

Danger!

A Muslim woman passes a construction site sign, warning of danger
This one deserves a commentary. This shot is planned, though very fast and with some luck. It also reveals something about my sentiment, when it comes to the debate about Muslims in the Western societies in general, and Palestinians in the Israeli society particularly.
The sign says “Danger – construction zone” (or more precise, they are building here).
The danger part is referring, in my composition here, to the stamp we too often give Muslims. Danger, against us and our society. We don’t know anything about this particular Muslim woman, this individual being. I imagine her as a mother, who is trying to create – to build – a home for her children. But that is my subjective interpretation. Others would see her as a person building threats to whichever group they themselves are part of. But we don’t ask her, rarely do we allow the individual Muslim or Palestinian being allowed to talk for him or herself. Just for themself. If we use Muslims/Palestinians to talk for them, it is most often someone who says something, which fits our own narrative.
But here is the underlying premise I want to present with this photo. There is a danger here. The danger is within ourselves, in what we are building, when we look at this woman, and automatically want to talk for her or use her in our own personal narratives. When we put her in a box, whichever box that might be, and don’t treat her as an independent individual being, who can and should be allowed to talk for herself. When the mere sight of her triggers our insecurities or conceptions of a whole segment, which again consists of several individual beings, with each their own thoughts, ideas, dreams, and longings.
The danger is what we build ourselves up to become, as individuals and as a society. She is merely the trigger.

2 Comments

  • deegee

    You are reading far too much into this. Maybe if it said just DANGER without being such an obvious building site. Even then there is no indications of threat.

    I read Arab woman in Israel returns from shopping with bags written in Hebrew. Building coexistence.

  • Fuji Lens Info

    I took the photo, how am I reading far too much into it? I'm sharing what I thought with the composition, and then am interested in how others read the photo. And thanks for sharing your thoughts 🙂

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