NPO Earth Caravan has been making peace pilgrimages to Palestine since 2015. At the same time, we have also carried out some support activities, and photo exhibitions are among these activities. We have held these exhibitions anywhere an opportunity arises.
On September 15, 2020, we offered charity Tao Shiatsu treatments and held an exhibition of photos from Palestine at Tao Sangha’s centre in Kyoto, Japan. We decided to extend the exhibition for another week because of its popularity; so many people visited that day! Everyone was intrigued by the photos and their explanations, carefully looking at each one with great interest, and they were serious as they watched a video about the situation in Palestine.
We held another exhibition at a museum in Fukushima Prefecture at which we showed photos of the Gaza Strip in Palestine. This exhibition started in July and ran for three months. Many people visited this exhibition as well and came to know about the reality of life in the Gaza Strip, where life has been very difficult.
We received many impressions from those who viewed the exhibits, such as:
- I found out about the harsh situation in Palestine for the first time. Information like this has never been reported by the media.
- I was shocked and am wondering how there can actually be a place in this world that has no sense of security and no freedom.
- I felt horrible to hear the fact that conflicts are still occuring not only in Palestine but also in other places in the world.
- What wonderful carefree smiles the children have!
- I think we should not leave this absurd situation as it is; as part of the international community we need to raise our voices to the world.
- I want to bring the Flame of Hope, with its wish for peace and freedom, to Palestinian children.
“Division and loneliness”
We want everyone to hear the voices of those who have been deprived of their rights as human beings in a distant country that is about to be forgotten among the world’s larger countries. These people have been living hard lives and struggling through a very difficult situation.
While looking at the photos in the exhibition, we may think that the current situation in Palestine has nothing to do with us, but the same thing could happen in Japan and other places in the world in the near future. In fact, the world is now being forced into a situation of self-restraint and isolation due to the Coronavirus pandemic. We are afraid that the world will be in the same situation as Palestine if it stays on its current track of isolation and division.
We are now facing the importance of creating a true connection with people.
Somehow we have had the illusion in our hearts that if only we had money, we could live a happy life, and that if we didn’t have money, we will never be happy.
The Coronavirus pandemic has taught us that money is important for living, but our connection with people is more important than money.
We have realized that we cannot live alone.
“Creation of the future”
How can we create a bright future?
Now is the time to stop proceeding down the path to division; we must live life with wisdom while creating a bright future.
Earth Caravan hosted the first photo exhibition of Haitham Khatib’s photos of Bil’in village in Palestine’s West Bank in April 2018.
After that, we held exhibitions of photos from Gaza photographers as well.
We decided to hold these photo exhibitions because we thought it was the right time to tell people in Japan about what’s happening in the world, and we wanted to send cheerful and encouraging messages to the Palestinian people.
We will continue to hold photo exhibitions in the future. If you have a chance, please go to see them.
We would appreciate it if you could let as many people as possible know what you see at our exhibitions, and discuss this topic with them. We at Earth Caravan will keep doing our best to create a better world.
Finally, we would like to share the words of Ms. Helen Keller:
“The world will not change unless people take responsibility for each other’s happiness.”
NPO Earth Caravan