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In the Camps

Contributed by Palestine on 04.02.2006:

Day after day the media talk about the development of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the occupation of the territories, and the logic of ever more violence. Since the beginning of the second Intifadah, the type of news shown doesn’t change much. The large part of the news ignores the mass of the Palestinian people. Those who fled their land in 1948 and 1967, are today, after 50 years of exile, still considered as refugees and live in camps or makeshift shacks. The neglect of the host-countries further marginalizes a population subject to restricted access to work, healthcare, and education.

In Lebanon, 300 000 Palestinians live in 12 crowded refugee camps. The living conditions vary from camp to camp.

Since May 2001 we have been working in 6 of these camps which are situated in Beirut, as well as in the North and South of Lebanon. All in all, 100 young Palestinians between 10 and 16 years old participated in this project.

The initial idea was to give these people the possibility of expressing themselves and to show their conditions and way of life. We decided to work with children because they constitute the future of these uprooted people. Provided with disposable cameras they demonstrated sensitivity to their situation which they confront every day in the camps, and ably bare witness to a cruel reality. From their own perspective and without any prompting, the kids achieved this goal admirably.

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