Tanya Habjouqa | Occupied Pleasures

Country of origin: Jordan
Project location: West Banks, Gaza, and East Jerusalem
Program: Magnum Foundation Fund
Year: 2013

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 47-year occupation has produced.


Born in Jordan and educated in the United States, Tanya Habjouqa resides in East Jerusalem and is a member of NOOR. A photographer, artist, and educator—her work stems from long-term investments and collaborative methodology, blending ethnographic research and investigative reportage. Examining details of conflict in the Middle East, Habjouqa addresses the presentation of these conversations by western media outlets.

In recent years, her projects have been commended by the likes of TIME, Smithsonian and World Press Photo.  Habjouqa is known for producing sensitive work underscored by the absurd.

She is a mentor for the  Magnum Foundation initiative, "Arab Photography Documentary Program” and teaches workshops internationally. She is trained in journalism and anthropology with an MA in Global Media with emphasis on Middle East Politics from University of London SOAS. Her work has been exhibited worldwide and is in the permanent collections of the MFA Boston, Institut du Monde Arab, and the Carnegie Museum of Art. She is represented by East Wing and Ilex galleries.