“If you have eyes, you can be a photographer. If you have a heart, you can be a friend.”
American – Israeli photographer Bruce Shaffer developed and leads the Roots Youth Photography Workshops for students from nearby Palestinian and Israeli. He was invited to Roots by co-founder Ali Abuawwad and has been involved with Roots since its beginnings.
Bruce views his work as a means to create change: “Citizen photography has long been used in conflict zones to capture opposition, but at Roots we deploy the medium to bring young people together, communicating through an unspoken artistic language and maximizing what the students all have – eyes and hearts. Roots students work on assignments that demand slowing down to rediscover their environment and rethink about the people in it.” For more about the Roots Youth Photography Workshop, see http://boulderjewishnews.org/2015/face-to-face-in-the-west-bank-the-roots-photography-club/ and http://www.timesofisrael.com/through-a-photography-class-first-exposure-for-israeli-and-palestinian-kids/.
Bruce also photographs for several NGOs in Israel and the West Bank, and freelances for feature writers, organizations, guides and tour operators in the region. His work has been included in Ha’aretz, The Times of Israel, The Jewish Daily Forward and other publications, documentaries, and organization websites. Visit www.hiddensparksphotogaphy.com to see more of his work.