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Copyright ©2017 Eman Mohammed
"Broken Souvenirs" is a symbolic archive of portraits showing the long lasting aftermath survivors and war victim’s families and friends experience when "its all over".
the simple idea of the multimedia project depends on a series of portraits style to reflect the missing part of the photo in whatever way the family of the victim choose to give for the lost loved ones in the portrait, in addition to a video interview and audio recording for the testimonies made.
One of the main goals of "Broken Souveniers" is to get more detailed,personal and symbolic series of portraits and interviews documenting the lasting aftermath on friends and families of victims and war survivors creating a photographic archive in the way the families of victims choose to illustrate their loved ones absence and loss ,trying to express an alternative kind of story telling.
In dependence on the concept that pain has no nation , expanding my project from Gaza to the United States,Indian American genocide,Vietnam war , 9/11, Armenian genocide,Bosnia genocide ,Mamelukes massacres,Genocide of European Roma, Afghanistan and Iraq war,north Korea,Rwandan,the Holocaust and elsewhere, countries that had experience wars in the far past or the ones that are still known as conflict areas, keep on recording scary numbers for casualties and deaths.
the Idea is to set a reminders telling the sensitive stories of lost souls examining the ongoing trauma and agony of violence faced by relatives,loved ones, friends and survivors themselves regardless of their religion,colour, race or nationality.
highlighting the devastating impact these wars,massacres,conflicts and attacks has on our nowadays world and how it shaped present aggression between nations,While the nature and intensity of violence in Palestine for an example_ varied in the 1st, 2nd Intifada and the aftermath of Gaza war Dec.2008Jan.2009 and November 2012, the primary victims who suffered the most in both transitions times in most cases were the same who have faced in the relatively recent past or are continuing to face the dangers of terror and war.
there for this project is to make a statement , symbolic one that pain still has no nation and for the sake of the lost souls that needed a hero but couldn't find one, this documentary is to keep history alive but never repeated.
Islam Qreqe ,14 months old, sitting on a burned motorcycle where three of her family members were targeted, bombed, and killed by a rocket fired from an Israeli aircraft drone. Islam's father, Moataz Qreqe, was riding this motorcycle along with his two-year-old son and his brother (Munther Qreqe) when the cycle was hit during an airstrike at Jamal Abdul Nassesr Street in Gaza City. Their bodies were completely scorched. Four months later, Islam was born and named after her deceased two-year-old brother.
© Images by Eman Mohammed | Broken Souvenirs series.
"I couldn't hear,see or speak,I just blinked and twelve members of my family were shattered into pieces as if they never existed."
Palestinian artist Ziad Deeb. The last time he saw his family was the exact minute an Israeli missile exploded in their front yard. All twelve members of his family were killed instantly. Ziad, the only survivor, suffered severe upper body injuries as well as the loss of both legs.
Safia Abo Zour, 25 years old, holds her five-month-old baby (Mohammed) with one hand. In her other, she displays the shirt that her older son, Mohammed, aged-4, wore the last time he went to kindergarten. Mohammed had just turned four years old when he was killed during the second war in Gaza, 2011, after an airstrike targeted his family's house in the Al Zaitoun neighborhood. Safia named her new baby "Mohammed", in memory of his brother.
Lieutenant Mariam Albur Joined the Palestinian policewomen force after her husband was killed during the first war 2008-2009 while he was on duty as a police officer. Mohammed Albur was killed during an Israeli airstrike while evacuating civilians from under a collapsed building that was preciously targeted with an F16, his wife Mariam continues to work as a policewoman in Gaza, in hope to spread his message.
Mohammed Khader,43, holding a photo of his destroyed house after it was flattened to the ground during the first Israeli war on Gaza, Khader worked for two decades in Israel to build his retirement house and after the Israeli army blew up his home by dynamite,none of his families belonging were left but few of the pigeons he used to raise as pet and a Jacuzzi he got from Telaviv where he was working, Mohammed lived underneath the rubble for 11 months till he received a police request to evacuate for safety concerns.Mohammed ,his wife and seven daughters moved to a tent afterwards.
Entesar Hamouda,43 years old, sits next to her son Feras Hamoudaâ€™s photo and the jacket he last wore before getting killed at the age of two during the first war on Gaza, January, 2009. For 20 years Entesar's attempts to have a baby had failed. Finally, after suffering her third miscarriage, she decided it was time to give up and let go of her dream of motherhood. Miraculously, only two moths later, she discovered she was pregnant with a baby boy. Feras was born in 2006, but devastatingly killed just 25 days after his second birthday.
Doris Jones, 64, standing next to her daughter's symbolic chair in the location where she got killed, Carrie Lynz was 26 years old and six months pregnant when a domestic terrorist attack targeted the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City killing 168 and injuring more than 680 people, she was announced among the victims when her dead body was found the following day.
Moemen Faiz, a Palestinian photographer and visual artist, is sitting next to his wheel chair and two cameras. Moemen lost both of his legs on Eid Al Adha evening during an airstrike on his neighbourhood. Moemen went to Saudi Arabia to seek treatment hoping to be fitted for artificial limbs, but the critical condition of his amputations at the time disqualified this possibility. He now presses on with his work as a photojournalist from the confines of his wheel chair.
Shahd Abo Zour, 3 years old, and her younger brother Mohammed Abo Zour, aged 18 months, sitting with their Grandmother Um Haitham next to their mother's favorite blouse. Shahdâ's mother, Sahar abo Zour, was just 20 years old when she was killed during the second war in Gaza, 2011, during an airstrike which targeted her family's house in the Al Zaitoun neighbourhood. Sahar's younger child (Mohammed) was three months old when his mother was killed. She was bleeding heavily after getting injured from a previous airstrike on the same neighbourhood and tragically died from those wounds in very same seconds she first held her newborn baby.
Olivia Pereze,23 holds a teddy bear that belongs to her father Anthony Pereze,Olivia's father was supposed to give her the teddy bear on her 16th birthday, instead her grandmother passed the gift after Pereze got killed during the September 11th attacks, while he was working at the North Tower on the 103rd floor. As many 9/11 victims his body was never found and as a result he was presumed dead.
© Images by Eman Mohammed from Broken Souvenirs series.
Alexander Jack,61, demolition specialist, he was one of the few first responders who joint the on ground firefighters and rescue team on 9/11 to help with the search for any potential survivors, one month later he went home with major heart and lungs health complications, laryngeal spasm, and vocal cord dysfunction. Alexander kept his work helmet covered with dried blood from a survivor he held on his shoulders while rushing him out of the towers location. © Images by Eman Mohammed from Broken Souvenirs series.
I kissed my daughters goodnight and walked away ,minutes after a missile targeted the house, my husband yelled hysterically " they are dead" I asked him who ? he answered " all of them",my five daughters were buried in their beds, all five of them. Samira Balousha (38),her husband and two daughters were the only survivor, after an Israeli F16 war plane targeted their house during war on Gaza in Dec.2008-January 2009, also known as "Cast Lead" operation. Samira's five daughters Jawaher(5),Dina(7),Samar(6),Ikram (14) and Tahrir (18) were all killed in the airstrike.
Galena Crouser,40, is from Hunkpapa/Oglala tribe works as an executive director at the Indian American Center in the midwest to spread awareness and accurate facts about the Native american genocide,in attempt to connect the public and new native american generations with the culture.
Moses J. Brings Plenty,48, is an Oglala Lakota television, film, and stage actor, as well as a traditional drummer and singer who works to help the Native American community recover and share its culture with the rest of the world through public speaking engagements and festivals celebrating Native American rituals, dances, stories and history.
Third-generation Armenian Chris Rinck, whose grandparents emigrated to the United States, started collecting stories from older uncles and aunts as well as cousins who survived or witnessed the Armenian massacre being committed. She is holding onto documented materials in hope that the genocide will be officially recognized in history and the historical souvenirs of the survivors honored. In photo Rinck holds her great-uncle’s Armenian cross which he was killed for owning it.