femLENS offers photography education as a tool for empowering women and supporting them during lifelong learning. With support of a local partner, our photography and storytelling workshops will give 20 women in Gaza a chance to create and share their own stories of living in a conflict zone. This will give women a voice, much needed in the media space, and will enrich the representation of Gaza. With the workshops we hope to raise global awareness on social issues through first-hand accounts.
Today's cultural and media representation of women is not inclusive and diverse. Men and women are often portrayed in stereotypical ways, and traditional roles in society are emphasised. This misrepresentation and its implications need to change before political, economic, and social equality of the sexes is possible. Women in photography remain a minority even in western countries - in more traditional societies getting access to training and support is that much harder.
Training women in Gaza in documentary photography and visual storytelling by using mobile phone cameras and other cheap alternatives gives women practical skills that translate to a potential source of income. Moreover, it adds diversity of ideas and voices to the narrative of life in Gaza and the Palestinian society, the occupation, and the ongoing conflict inside and outside of the Palestinian occupied territories.
The project will train 20 women in documentary photography and will bolster and diversify narratives of what we know and how we see Gaza. By taking photos and engaging with their communities in new ways, women gain confidence and develop a deeper, more dynamic relationship with their society. Moreover, the participants will learn to use common, accessible technologies in new ways, promoting lifelong learning and technological literacy.