December Feature - Peter Chappell


Peter ChapellPeter Chappell has worked as photographer and film maker for more than 30 years in many different areas of the world - especially in Africa and the Middle East. Chapell has been coming to Palestine once or twice a year since his first visit in 1990s. This year he conducted three trainings in photography and lighting at the MDC. When asked why he keeps returning, Chapells answer was: I came once and enjoyed it, and I have benefited and enjoyed the opportunity to meet young Palestinians.

Interview by Jena Nabut, journalism student at Birzeit University

Why did you decide to become a photographer and film maker?
I have always been fascinated in Photography, especially in documentary films. I first started as a photographer when I was 18 years old, when my grandfather gave me a camera as a gift. Then there was one particular project I worked on in North England about peoples homes being demolished to make a way for a new development. And as well as taking photographs of this community, I started recording stories. From this experience I learnt that using sound recording and showing people's photographs with the voices of people telling their stories added another dimension. Through that experience also, I started thinking of making films. Then I applied for a course to learn how to make films and from that time I started exploring that field.

What are your goals for the future?
I've been interested in films. I try to make films that have to do with resistance, justice and creating a better understanding of cultural diversity.

On the cons of working in areas of poverty or conflict:

Sometimes it's hard to be a witness in situations where human-lives are at stake, and you've got to decide whether helping other human-beings is more important than photography, Peter Chapell.

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