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Palestinian Boys Throwing Stones at Israeli Soldiers. Ramallah, West BankEnlarge image

Palestinian Boys Throwing Stones at Israeli Soldiers. Ramallah, West Bank, October 2000

Larry Towell
Canadian, 1953
gelatin silver print
40.6 x 50.5 cm; image: 32.5 x 48.2 cm
Purchased 2001
Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography (no. 2001.68)
© Larry Towell

Since the 1980s Larry Towell has travelled to areas of conflict – sometimes numerous times over the course of several years – documenting both violence and people’s everyday lives. A major theme in his work is landlessness, an inquiry that started while visiting Nicaragua in the early 1980s when he met peasants who had been forced off their land as a result of challenging the dictatorship of the Somoza regime. The theme informed his travels to Palestine and El Salvador as well, where, especially in the former, he often placed himself directly in the centre of conflicts. Towell has produced dramatic, very engaging images of these events, but eschews what he terms the “adrenalin world of war photography.” Rather, his approach is to “go narrow and deep,” which means engaging in an extended study of a place and its constitution in order to provide some overview, including a focus on individual experience and intimate moments.

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