Recognized – Documenting Life in the Negev is the Negev Coexistence Forums visual documentation video project where women and men are documenting their lives in the Negev-Naqab.
Violations of human rights takes place in Bedouin unrecognized villages on a daily basis. House demolitions by the state, lack of water and electricity, lack of access to government services like health and education and a variety of other difficulties faced by residents of the villages are not exposed by the media and are rarely documented.
In 2015 NCF started to distribute video cameras and to train volunteer photographers in the unrecognized villages to document, from their perspective, the human rights violations that occur in their villages. The residents themselves can document their lives and expose viewers to the living conditions in the unrecognized villages in the Negev-Naqab on a daily basis.
Bilal Abu Juda from the unrecognized village az-Zaʿarūrah documented how his family was forced to demolish his brother’s house. The documentation reveals the brutal policy of house demolitions the State of Israel deploys towards the Bedouin community.
On the morning of 06.01.2016 large police and demolition forces arrived at the unrecognized Bedouin village of Rakhamah to demolish the mosque. Salima Azazme managed to document the event with her camera. Through her work, we have a glimpse of the events and can feel the shock that grips residents in the destruction of the mosque:
The village of al-ʿArāgīb was demolished for the 96th time by the State. Ṣabāḥ Abū Mdīġim, one of the village residents, documented this demolition. At the time the kids had vacation from school and were present when that event took place. Al-ʿArāgīb inhabitants remain in the heavy heat without shelter or a roof to their heads:
On May 10th 2016 Israel Land Authority supervisors escorted by policemen from Special Force “Yoav” unit, to the village of ʿAtīr. ʾAḥlām Khalīl documented the forces activities in the village:
Violent arrests were carried out in Umm al-Hiran on July 7, 2016. As residents and activists peacefuly protested the tractors that arrived to build a fence near the village’s houses, to expand the construction zone of Hiran, police violently arrested residents and activists, including minors.
Video by: Yusra Abu Kaf and Michal Rotem.
The village of al-araqib was demolished for the 108 time on January 12, 2017. Large police forces with bulldozers and trucks destroyed all the village’s structures and took three vehicles, the only water tank in the village, and a trailer full of personal blongings. One of the vehicles serves to bus the children of the village to school. Listen to what Sheikh Sayyah had to say about the situation, and share it.
Video by: Sabah Abu Madigem and Michal Rotem
The Bedouin villages in the Negev/Naqab are not connected to the electricity grid. Watch the video by Yassin, a resident of the village of Tel Arad and a volunteer in project “Recognized”, that explains how residents produce electricity on their own, and shows how the village disappears in the dark, due to the lack of electricity:
Al-Fur’ah is an unrecognized Bedouin village that was established before the establishment of the state. The village, located near Arad, has about 5,000 residents. while in 2006 the government decided to recognize al-Fur’ah, it’s planning process was stopped as the village is located in an area planned to become a phosphate mine (Sdeh Barir). Watch this video by Said Gaboa, resident of the village and a volunteer photographer in “Recognized” project, that tells the story of al-Fur’ah:
The village of al-Araqib was destroyed for the 116th time by the State of Israel on August 1st. Sabah Abu Madigem, a volunteer photographer at NCF’s “Recognized” project and a resident of the village, documented the demolition with her camera.
This project is partially funded by the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs of Switzerland