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Los Angeles, USA
Qalqilyah, West Bank, Palestine 2004 – While I was photographing some graffiti along the wall in Qalqilyah a group of three boys walked by. They were walking and playing along the wall next to their homes. They were all young and still within that age of innocence where everything is a game, or ought to be. When they caught site of me they began to pose with rocks, victory hand gestures, grins and giggles. At first I didn’t photograph them as they were obviously posing and performing for the camera and I was set on shooting the graffiti. Yet, after a short time I realized how telling it was that their first instinct when coming across a photographer was to reenact the horrifying news imagery they are saturated with on a daily basis; bombings, oppression, terror, funerals, protests, lying politicians, air strikes, shootings, tear gas, propaganda, etc. There can be many interpretations of this image. Mine personal viewpoint is this, the hand of a child making a political slogan, rock in hand, next to a guard tower, in a war zone, on holy land, ought not to happen, anywhere, ever.
The Israeli’s call it the Security Fence or the Separation Barrier. The Palestinian’s call it the Apartheid Wall or Discrimination Wall. It is constructed of a combination of 36 foot high concrete blocks and electrified fencing. The Wall has been condemned by the International Court in the Hague on human rights issues. Others praise the sharp decline of terrorist bombings since the beginning of its construction. The Israeli government contends that it is temporary and not the redrawing of 1967 Armistice line, however, Palestinians see more and more of their lands in the West Bank annexed by its placement.