Sarah Irving

I do things with words, mainly English and Arabic

New article: ‘I Exist’ photo exhibition reviewed

Electronic Intifada, 19th June 2013

In a very different set of images, Jerusalem-based photographer Tanya Habjouqa documents the 2009 Arab Bodybuilding Championships in Amman, Jordan: dubbed the “Gaza Martyrs Tournament” after those killed in Israel’s attack on Gaza earlier that year.
The bulging, artificial-looking flesh painted with glittering dark-brown lotion to accentuate the competitors’ muscles indicates the pursuit of a hyper-masculine body image, but a fainting contestant, overcome by stress, and the wistful look in the men’s eyes suggest a creeping vulnerability.
The Gaza reference in the tournament’s nickname adds to the underlying sense of desperation behind the macho poses.

The full article is here.

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