Student photography exhibition aims for balance


Students at King's College London are being asked to consider both sides of life in Israel and the Palestinian territories at a photography exhibition.

"Dialogue: Life through a lens", which is on show at the university's student union, is the brainchild of the leaders of the King's College London Israeli-Palestinian Forum.

Talia Finke, a second year medical student who spent a gap year in Israel with Habonim, and third year war studies undergraduate Stephanie Siddall, said they wanted to challenge the polarised nature of campus regarding the Middle East.

The pair spent weeks identifying photographs capturing daily life for both Israelis and Palestinians, which were put on display as part of One World Week.

The resulting exhibition includes images juxtaposing an Israeli child having his hair cut for the first time with an Arab woman donning a headscarf, as well as scenes from refugee camps and bomb shelters.

"It's not healthy how no one is talking and no one really wants to listen, especially the more [extreme] on either side," said Ms Finke. "And we realised that most of what we have ben doing is panel discussions or lectures, which only appeal to a subset. Photos are much more accessible. It's non-committal, anyone can look around this, whereas for someone who is very partisan to come to one of our events could be hard."

"A lot of people want to learn about the conflict but don't necessarily come from a point of view," added Ms Siddall. "This is a way for people to look at different perspectives without having to decide."

The exhibition, which is on until March 1 has been sponsored by the King's College war studies department, Middle East & Mediterranean Studies centre and the student union.

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