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Mafalda Rakoš May 5, 2014

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Israel, Palestine.
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Leen and her niece Valentina. Bethlehem 2012

Mafalda Rakoš (b. 1994, Austria) attended the Vienna Institute of Graphic Design and Audiovisual Media. Her work has been published in various magazines and was shown in various international festivals, as well as in Vienna. In 2013, she and her two colleagues were awarded the Jugendinnovativ-Prize for their collective book project “3rd Generation” about Arab and Israeli youth. Mafalda was awarded the Prix Revelation SAIF during Festival Voices Off at Rencontres d’Arles for her series Il y a des jours sombres. She is currently studying Anthropology at Vienna University while pursuing her own photographic projects.

About the Photograph:

“This picture was taken in the course of the project Third Generation, a collective documentary book project, realized by me, another photographer and a graphic designer. It deals with the individual realities of young Palestinians and Israelis the same age as me. The photo was taken in Bethlehem where I was hosted by Leen’s family. She always told me that she had no interest in letting the conflict disturb her- that her main goal was to be happy and to enjoy every moment of her life. We gathered at her sister’s place to make Pizza together. In this peaceful and untroubled atmosphere, we went out on the balcony. The wall that divides the Palestinian Territories from Israel was ten only meters away. Leen and Valentina kissed through the glass – a cynical metaphor for these moments of happiness that take place in an isolated setting.”

Alessandro Gandolfi January 9, 2013

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Gaza, Israel, Palestine.
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Khan Yunes, Gaza Strip, 2011

Alessandro Gandolfi (b.1970, Italy) is co-founder of Parallelozero Photo Agency (Milan) and his works have appeared in several Italian, as well as international  magazines including: National Geographic Italia, L’Espresso, Die Zeit, Mare, The Sunday Times Magazine and Le Monde. His photoraphs have been exhibited in the latest four shows organized in Rome by National Geographic. A philosophy graduate, Alessandro attended the IFG– School of Journalism in Urbino. Before working as a photojournalist, he contributed as a news reporter for La Repubblica, both in Milan and Rome. He won National Geographic’s “Best Edit Award” twice (in 2010 and 2011) with two reportages published in the Italian edition of the American magazine.

About the Photograph:

“Mohammed Al Jakhbeer is 23 and lives in Khan Yunes, in the Gaza Strip. Mohammed and his friend Abdallah Enshasi are both children of refugees; they do occasional jobs and are among only a few who practice parkour in Gaza. When I found out, I tried to contact them and arranged to meet at Abdallah’s house. While his mother offered us a cup of tea, they explained to me that parkour is fun and makes them feel free, as well as being good exercise. They also told me, however, that old people in Khan Yunes do not always appreciate this strange sport and that many women are scared when they see them jump from one window to the next. ‘Let’s go, follow us, we’ll take you to our new training ground’, Mohammed told me while taking his rucksack. We walked together to the village suburbs. We arrived at a fence beyond which I could see the large cemetery of Khan Yunes. ‘Every day we train here”’said Abdallah while starting to wrap his hands with cotton bandages. I followed them to the cemetery to watch them, and the jumps were truly spectacular. They climbed two metre high walls and ran above them keeping their balance without safety nets or mattresses. They jumped while doing twirls and somersaults. ‘Here among graves and tombs we have found our true gym’ said Mohammed, and our friends often come here to watch what we do or to try and learn. Are we disrespectful because we do it in a cemetery? No, I don’t think so. Nobody has felt offended until now…”

Giuliano Camarda June 27, 2012

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Israel, Palestine.
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Bedouin village in East Jerusalem 2011

Giuliano Camarda (b. 1978, Italy) is a freelance documentary photographer focusing on Palestinian-Israeli issues. He spent one year in Bosnia and Herzegovina, working on several projects related to the consequences of war in the Balkans. Giuliano also cover news and collaborates with humanitarian NGO’s as a photographer and photography teacher. He has been selected for the Manuel Rivera Ortiz Grant in 2011. His works have been published on National Geographic Italia, La Repubblica, Zoom Magazine, Witness Journal, among others.

About the Photograph:

“This picture was taken in the Bedouin village of Wadi Abu Hindi, one of the most difficult communities in the area of East Jerusalem. The village is nestled in the desert, between the biggest rubbish dump of Jerusalem (Abu Dis), a military area used by Israeli army for training, and the illegal settlement of Qedar. People of this area live in miserable shacks, without electricity or running water, grazing their sheep between debris, being subject to demolition and attacks by settlers. Despite this, the communities have shown determination and unbelievable resilience that led the Israeli military authorities to draw up a relocation plan last October. Ignoring the aspirations, needs, traditions and the system of relations inherent in the Bedouin culture, the plan provides the deportation and a forced establishment of the Jahalin tribe a  few meters far from the rubbish dump.”

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