Oren, a Jewish man, 28 years of age, lives in South Tel Aviv and works as a photojournalist. He is one of the founders of “ActiveStills”– a collective of photographers. Through photography, the members of ActiveStills are intensively involved in various social and political struggles in Israel and in the popular struggles in the West Bank against the separation wall. Oren recalls the establishment of the collective in 2005 during the demonstrations in Bili’n:
We came there to photograph because we supported the struggle, we didn’t come as photojournalists that were sent by someone else .
He added that the members of the collective see themselves as partners in all the struggles they document. Oren emphasized that:
ActiveStills didn’t change anything on their own, and my opinion is that no-one can change anything alone. Many of our photos made an impact, many became iconic, and in courts of law our photos saved people, but we still see ourselves as part of something bigger to which we contribute this small part. Every group or person adds something, there are those who give first aid in demonstrations and those who give legal support…
Between 2000-2004 Oren participated in different activities of Sadaka-Reut mainly, in the youth groups, and later joined the ‘Community in Action’ project.
Looking back, Sadaka-Reut was one of the most meaningful frameworks in which Jews and Arabs chose to work together … The fact that we lived together in a commune in Jaffa [joint living arrangement that was offered by the organization to the program’s participants until 2011] and that Sadaka-Reut was very much connected to the activism scene, contributed to my development as an activist. That is how I got to know more activists, that’s how I started going to the occupied territories, that’s how I learned about struggles… even today I continue to live in a communal house…
Oren added that he thinks that choosing to work as part of a collective in ActiveStills was influenced from the type of work he was exposed to in Sadaka-Reut.