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Seattle University


Documenting life amidst conflict

Written by Steve Galatro, Fine Arts
September 13, 2010

A woman pushes a baby stroller past a checkpoint. A poster of a martyr hangs in a barbershop.

These are some of the images captured by local photographer Rajiv Kapoor, who strives to document everyday life in Jerusalem and the West Bank.

His documentary photography exhibit, “Paradoxes of Living on Holy Land: Photographs from Jerusalem and West Bank,” which draws visitors into a land of conflict and history, opens at Vachon and Kinsey Galleries on Sept. 20.

While photographing in the West Bank and Jerusalem, Kapoor noted that paradoxes began to feel normal. “I was intrigued by this place where passion could turn into a political hurricane at any time,” he said.

Alexander Mouton, assistant professor and gallery curator, says “Kapoor has gracefully addressed one of the more challenging topics of our times in a way that brings a much needed humanistic vision to all those involved in the territories surrounding Jerusalem.”

Pulitzer Prize-winning historian and author Kai Bird says Kapoor’s images “depict a city and a people still virtually separated by fear of the ‘other’… Kapoor's photographs simultaneously evoke the power of photojournalism and the intimacy of art.”

Originally from Mumbai, India, Kapoor pursues photography while maintaining a corporate career in marketing. He mainly focuses on sociopolitical issues and explores life amidst conflict.

Kapoor’s exhibit runs from Sept. 20 through Dec. 3 in the Vachon and Kinsey Galleries. He will visit SU’s campus and speak about his work at 6 p.m. on Oct. 8, in Wyckoff Auditorium. A reception and viewing will immediately follow.