Children from the village of Surra in the Palestinian Negev desert play on a tree. These children live in villages called unrecognized villages, which do not obtain any basic rights and are threatened with demolition. This makes the desert an outlet for freedom and safety for these children.
Mohamed Badarne is a photographer, trainer and activist. Born in the Palestinian village of Arraba in Galilee, he got involved in social activism as a teenager. He volunteered in refugee camps and built a human rights movement for Palestinian youths. In 2012, he earned his living as a high-school teacher and NGO worker. Since then – after graduating in Professional Photography – he has dedicated his career to photography and teaching photography. Mohamed leads workshops in cooperation with NGOs, community centers and independent groups. For his own photographic work he received grants from renowned art foundations, and his projects "Come Back Safely" and "Unrecognized Games" were exhibited in such diverse venues as Darat al Funun Art Gallery in Amman, the Fusion Festival, the European Center for Constuonal Rights (ECCHR) in Berlin, the International Labour Organiza on (ILO) in Geneva and the UN Headquarters in New York. His work is included in the collections of the Khalid Shuman Foundation as well as of the ILO and private art collectors. As a curator, he was responsible for .“People of the Sea”, the opening exhibit on of Qalandia International art festival in 2016.
On December 2021 just before new year’s, my girlfriend and I along with 9 other friends, embarked on a four-day journey to climb the second highest mountain in Africa, Mt. Kenya. It was the first time for me to climb the mountain and it was the first time for me to ever see snow. The journey to the summit was filled with wonderful landscapes and beautiful plants and animals. At the same time, it was also very challenging. During the course of the four days, we encountered rain, a hail storm and freezing temperatures as low as -8 degrees. The heavy rains had made the ground very uncomfortable to sleep on, despite using bed mats in our tents. Rain water in our hiking boots made it feel like we were walking barefoot on ice. My entire body was in agony from the extreme temperatures and exhaustion and I had lost all interest in taking photographs, all I wanted to do was to survive and get rid of the pain. I took this photograph at the exact place where I had given up. I had come to a complete halt, I didn’t want to move anymore and my mind started to drown in thoughts of doubt, fears and anxiety. I sat there for what felt like hours, staring at the lake and at the snow, the rocks and at the fog in the distance. I questioned everything in my life and wondered why I had even decided to do such a crazy thing like climb the dangerous mountain. As all this was happening, the fog had slowly started to clear but I did not notice until I saw the sun starting to shine a bit more and the temperature feeling a bit warmer. Immediately, I snapped out of these negative thoughts in my mind and started feeling the sunrays that were piercing through the fog. I could feel the rays warming my toes through my freezing boots and I could feel my spirit slowly getting lifted. My focus changed from my pain and I started focusing on the beauty that was surrounding me, the love from the people that we were climbing the mountain with. I reminded myself that I had come to the mountain to contest my fears. I realized that I was never alone despite the challenge on the mountain and also in life. As all this was happening, my gratitude and appreciation for life and for my talents in photography came alive and I was able to remove my camera from my backpack and compose this image. The rest of the climb was a success and I managed to get to the summit, yes it was still a hard climb but my mind had shifted in attitude and this was one of the greatest turning points in my life.
Hello! My name is Marshall, I’m a filmmaker and a photographer based in Taiwan. When I’m not in film production, I let myself out on the streets to take some candid shots. For me it’s just soothing to absorb the livelyhood that is the street, I’d like to be in it before I take from it.
“Roast” is a shot I took at one of the public playgrounds in Taipei City, I saw this middle-aged woman occupying a kid’s slide without clear intentions and had to capture the scene because I knew there’s a story to be interpreted. What do you think?
To find out more about my work, visit my instagram