A rare opportunity to experience the work of Quaker photo-activist Skip Schiel is coming to Grass Valley. The images will be exhibited at 7 p.m. Friday at Unitarian Universalist Community of the Mountains, 246 S. Church St. in Grass Valley.
Schiel’s inspiring photo presentations are drawn from eight years exploring the Gaza Strip, Israel and the West Bank. A Quaker and activist, Schiel uses his talents as a photographer to depict the complex realities of the region. Responding to the focus on the dilemmas of non-violent resistance and on the light that emanates from the people, and the land, a reviewer has called his photos “haunting glimpses of the perilous nature of life in Gaza …moments of intimate truth between photographer and subject.”
Of his photos, Schiel has written, “May these images better balance the plethora of main media images we constantly experience: catastrophe, despair, ruination, death. May they help broaden the palette of art to include hope, faith, fun, exhilaration, antics, joy, friendship, worship, love. In the midst of a troubled time, may they affirm the life force.”
The topic for Schiel’s Friday presentation is “The Hydropolitics of Palestine and Israel.” With the strife in the region, water is a dramatic mirror of power relationships. With his photos and observations, Schiel examines the widespread degradation of this vital resource and allows us to glimpse efforts to restore water access and quality to the people of Palestine.
Local musician and singer-songwriter Bodhi Busick will open the evening of multimedia presentations, performing two of his original pieces, “Medicine Man” and “Star Over Bethlehem”.
Admission is free. All donations will go to the Nevada County Chapter of the Maia Project. The Maia Project, organized by the Middle East Children’s Alliance (MECA, based in Berkeley; www.mecaforpeace.org), installs water purification and desalination units in schools and kindergartens/preschools in the Gaza Strip.
Grandmothers for Peace of Nevada County is offering refreshments. Additional co-sponsors are the Grass Valley Friends Meeting, the Peace Center of Nevada County, the UUCM Social Action Committee, Earth Justice Ministries, Palestine-Israel Working Group of Nevada County, the IMPACT Club of Nevada Union High School and The Magic Carpet.
For information about Skip Schiel, www.teeksaphoto.org. For information about the program and the Maia Project, call (530) 478-1943.