Archive

Palestine

© David Brunetti

Isra'a and Basil live in the Beqa'a refugee camp in Amman, Jordan. The camp, home to 104,000 refugees, was established in 1968 to accommodate Palestinian refugees who fled their homes during al Nakseh in 1967. The population of the camp is young and underemployed.

The family is from Yatta but both Basil and his mother were born in Beqa'a. Even though Palestine so close, it is quite likely that their interests and rights (as Palestinian refugees in diaspora) will not be taken fully into account in any (distant) future settlement between Israel and the PA.

Their lives are a constant reminder that the precarious life of refugees can become permanent.

© David Brunetti

Khaled Barghouthi is a professional dancer and choreographer. Born in a village near Ramallah, he studied dance in Belgium. He tries to perform in Palestine whenever possible but said due to the lack of opportunities in the West Bank he has to work in Europe if he wants to dance professionally. But when Khaled is in Palestine, he teaches dance at the Ramallah Ballet Centre and gives workshops about dance at the Franco-German Cultural Center in Ramallah.

© David Brunetti

Maya Khaldi is a Palestinian musician and singer. I met Maya in her father’s house, her favourite place in Ramallah, after a long day of teaching and preparing for exams.

Maya is singing with several groups and has performed numerous Jazz-fusion gigs with Palestinian musicians. Maya also teaches music theory, early childhood music education and conducts three choirs at The Edward Said National Conservatory of Music.

©David Brunetti

Zakaria is a former Palestinian militant leader who ended his years on Israel's most-wanted list by handing over his guns to the Palestinian National Authority and accepting Israeli amnesty. He renounced violence in favour of "cultural resistance" and is a founding member and supporter of the Freedom Theatre in his native Jenin. Earlier this year, his amnesty has been revoked and Zakaria was taken into Israeli administrative custody for unknown reasons.

This picture was taken a lifetime ago during a funeral procession in 2005, yet I think it's still a poignant and moving image symbolising the sacrifices the Palestinian people make and the loss the pursuit of freedom incurs.

©David Brunetti

I visited Palestine several times, the last time was in 2005 when I spent 3 months in East Jerusalem and the West Bank. Palestine somehow gets under your skin and stays with you. However, the sad thing, for a photographer, is that you're not the only one there trying to take the one image that will epitomise the occupation, the violence, the everyday administration of misery ... Israel and Palestine are both overrun by the media and activists, and the thought that you all end up taking the same pictures haunts you. For that reason, I decided not to return to Palestine (no matter how much I feel compelled to - not just yet anyway but once I found the right angle) to take the Palestine portfolio offline a few years ago but now that I'm working on my new site I find myself thinking about ways how to make it work. As of today it stands a good chance of being included and hopefully it won't be too cliché.