Which stories do we tell? Which voices do we listen to?
What pictures do we show?
As a prospective ethnologist, I travelled the West Bank, occupied Palestine, for several weeks in March 2016. Away from media reports, other’s stories or scientific texts, I aimed to get an own idea of the living conditions of the local people. Together with a group of Palestinian and international participants, I joined the Freedom Ride, organised by the culturally activist Freedom Theatre in Jenin Refugee Camp. The journey took us to key areas of oppression and non-violent resistance of the Palestinians and showed us the daily struggles of living under the Israeli occupation. I documented faces, living spaces and situations and listened to and recorded stories of individuals and communities. Every single story is worth being told and listened to. Parts of these stories are going to be presented through the documentary exhibition project Ride for Justice – Non-violent resistance in Palestine. The exhibition is guided by the message “Come and see, go and tell”, a message our group was left with at the end of every encounter. As with the Freedom Theatre bringing the experiences of the Palestinian people onto stage through interactive theatre, the exhibition aims to tell the documented stories to a broad audience. By introducing the Freedom Theatre, the exhibition shows one example of a cultural institution creating space for free expression and hope in the middle of the ongoing occupation, by offering cultural, non-violent approaches.
Here, where the hills slope before the sunset and the chasm of time
near gardens whose shades have been cast aside
we do what prisoners do
we do what the jobless do
we sow hope.
– Mahmoud Darwish