As I was preparing to leave for a three-month assignment to Israel and Palestine my friends at DUMBØ got a brilliant idea. They handed me one of their disposable cameras and just like that I was transferred into a conflict zone journalist – equipped with 36 black and white photos.
Before heading to the occupied territories of Palestine I knew next to nothing about the reality there. Despite this, I made a decision to try to focus on some of the positive aspects in my documentation – the world sees already enough negative news on a daily basis. But as the occupation has been going on for 50-years those positive points of view were hard to come by. The occupation is clearly visible in the everyday life for instance through heavy military presence and a wall separating Israel and Palestine, and as such it would have not made justice to my mission to focus solely on the positive aspects.
For the positive aspects I headed to the few skateparks built around the West Bank by international NGO’s. And I was not disappointed. It was remarkable to see how sincerely happy the children seemed while riding their boards. They had the same stoke in their eyes as any kid I have seen getting hooked into skateboarding anywhere in the world – except that these children were living their everyday life under a military occupation. Skateboarding offered them a safe space from the harsh reality they faced on a daily basis.