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Alessandro Gandolfi January 9, 2013

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Gaza, Israel, Palestine.
Tags: , ,

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…”