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Beneath the Smiles

Beneath the Smiles
Photo Information
Copyright: Kev Ryan (KevRyan) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1784 W: 193 N: 5128] (22956)
Genre: People
Medium: Black & White
Date Taken: 2006-07
Categories: Festivals
Camera: Canon EOS 5D
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Your Favourites 2, Two Girls [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2006-08-07 4:09
Viewed: 3600
Favorites: 2 [view]
Points: 44
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Two happy girls, two young women full of aspirations for the future - perhaps for themselves but also for their people - 'What do you want in the future?' - 'To be a doctor and to live in a free Palestine'. Another smaller girl said she wanted to die - 'Why?" - 'to see my father he was killed by an Israeli.' A young boy just wants his father to come home - he was disappeared without trial into a jail over two years ago - these are the children of Bethlehem and the refugee camps of Dheisheh, Azah and Ayda. Overhead the planes fly north to Lebanon, whatever the politics, dispelling death to large numbers of young children like these, I cannot seperate these sound trails in the sky from the relationships I am forming with these children and I cannot seperate my repulsion of Hezbollah and their indiscriminate rocketry from the smiles and laughter around me. A young Arab Israeli of 15 years is sliced in two by a rocket which explodes outside her home. The Israeli defence minister visits the family and tells them - 'We are one people in the sight of Allah' - (a slight misquote but the essence of his words were such) - these children I'm with are of a different people - displaced peoples who live as refugees 'within sight' of their ancestral homes. They are contained and constrained, surrounded by an army with whom they sometimes fight, walled in, denied access and living under a different law than the people who occupy their land. Some people call this aparthied - it is not hard to arrive at this definition for most visitors.

But these girls are smiling......they are part of the small group, including the children from the camps, who have come to work with us on a mountain top near Bethlehem - to have fun, to run in the countryside, to be free of their daily pressures, to learn new skills and meet with kinder strangers from around the world.

Beneath the smiles there is so much more to be told.

Rinie_Hoff, bantonbuju, kaud, gabrielpat, everlasting, pilpel-adom, designsoul, cgrindahl, wilkinsonsg, jstewart, kajspice, manub, Iuli has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To pilpel-adom: thankyou for all you've said ChenKevRyan 7 2006-08-07 07:55
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Critiques [Translate]

let me contemplate this image and the note in silence;
its too important to write any silly "critiques";
respect bro, j.

I'm sure we are all eager to share in your Palestinian experience and you're off to a flying start my friend. A very sensitive portrait, full of intelligence, a special luminosity in the eyes. These are beautiful faces, Kev, perhaps not in the absolute, Hollywood/Cannes sense of the word, but truly beautiful, in an ancient, patient way. There is a lot in this image.

  • Great 
  • kaud Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 360 W: 58 N: 439] (1840)
  • [2006-08-07 4:22]

Nice portrait.
Good documentary.
Great note.

  • Great 
  • gaby Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor [C: 1101 W: 46 N: 1555] (19819)
  • [2006-08-07 4:38]

Kev a brillant shot - this is simply wonderful - I hear Jerzy "I contempmlate" -

Hi Kev, I was wondering when you'd strart with this series. A very timely offering, and good double portrait, with an air of hope about it. Great note, see you soon.

Hi Kev,
Beautiful double portraits. Shining happy eyes.. Very nice B&W work. Bestwishes.

hi kev,
brillant shot as comentary.a spledid black and white.very hopefull.

A fine double portrait to begin your series, Kev. But as I think you can see from the critiques already placed after reading your note, words are failing us to comment in a just way.

  • Great 
  • partha Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1318 W: 85 N: 1306] (14023)
  • [2006-08-07 8:21]

Nice expression and wonderful tonality.B&W is a wise choice

Hey Kev!
Very good and emptional note - I agree with Jerzy, it's deserve more than a normal critique. Indeed, a powerfull comnbination of image and words, the story beind the eyes, the smiles and also the unity.
I felt your difficulty in writing this note, trying to walk between the drops, not wanting to say any difinite statement, to this side or the other. I think that leaving Israel you just started to realize HOW MUCH the situation here is so complex that you can only appreciate it when visiting both sides.
I think that at the end of your trip to Israel and to the Palestinian teritories the region earned a new friend, for both sides.
Looking forward for more of your trip!

It's not the politics I would wish to comment on now but this beautiful double portrait that touches right to the bottom of my heart now, Kev. Very lovely shot, the girls' eyes and smiles are testament to our innate beauty and innocence... how the war will resolve we do not know and I fear to imagine. But this shot gives me hope.
I look forward, with many TE friends, to your shots... I have also been away, but it is so nice to connect again,

No doubt Kev, that you threw in your charmes here like I saw you in Nottingham, making contact with everyone because of your friendly face and attitute, and I can see you in all four eyes. This is a great double protrait, and their smiles are open and friendly. Beautiful B&W.
I hope that their situation will sonn change, and they will have a chance to be free to go wherever they want.
Beautiful Kev.

A very well composed shot, the note is also up to your usual high standard - TFS :)

Fantastic framing in this poignant portrait. I look forward to more posts from this series.

Hi Kevin,
Fabulous double portrait. And your detailed note - sad, oh so sad. The futility of the middle east conflicts......

Beautiful eyes, although it is B&W but you can see the colour in their eyes which speak of hope. The note is nice too



Wonderful portrait. Very nice B&W work.
I hope that it's peace augury.
(Exscuse for this terrible English language ___ Babelfish ;-)

Hi Kev!
Loads of B&W i see in your gallery a the moment
Ths one is really well captured!
Well done

  • Great 
  • faubry Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3066 W: 340 N: 4524] (35447)
  • [2006-08-29 5:01]

hello kev, j'aime beaucoup ce cadrage serré sur les deux visages, et le passage au B&W, superbes sourires!
à demain

Dear Kev,

Very touching image & note. No need 4 a comment i think. TFS


  • Great 
  • nika Gold Star Critiquer [C: 455 W: 0 N: 0] (0)
  • [2007-01-19 5:22]
  • [2]

The portrait is really touching . It could be a well accomplished portrait within the most orthodox parameters of how to take a perfect picture with people and immortalised their look , those expressive eyes , smiles . But in this case those eyes , smiles , every gesture carries the weight of a dramatic plight situation those people are living both in their "freedom" resorts in Gaza where Israel is breaking repeteadly all the peace agreements making Palestinians life be impossible , depriving them of the most elementary human rights and suffering all sorts of harassments in their daily movements , life and in the rest of the same region...Your picture is sublime , neat , put all your soul and even your guts in it , amounts of sensativiness , care and your note is quite illustrative , tender and sounds ecumenical . I ve experienced the consequences of being partial , bias , trying to express my opinion in hot themes and most of the times i was requested by the TE administrator to behave well and be good ( don t know what s behind TE but internet should be the epitome of freedom of speech but here it fails ( lucky most of internet sites allow it ) despite knowing about the world through photography implies to create a sort of union, sinergy between the image and the story , thought , impression translated into comment and attached to those images...If i speak badly about Israel ( i mean the legitimation of that country , not about the people) i run the risk that everyone jumps into me ...It is possible to critisize US policies , but even when the Spanish prime minister, Zapatero, dared to critisise Israel bombings invading a sovereign country as Libano is , the jewish community in Spain (it exists ) claimed in anger , violently compelling and threatening the leader of my whole nation to change his words accusing him to be an Antisemitic . They always have that recurrent topic to self defense , the Holocaust ...
So Hizbullah did not exist until Israeli settled up and began to blast that zone in the Middle east , we all know the story , History ...

The picture touches me , is a precious gem that nails into my heart , specially that look in their eyes .

I appreciate a lot your argumentation and would like TE were opener in terms of freedom of speech ...

All the best for you

I love your picture, congratulations

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