ABC

ABC, palestine, 2023

Super8 film (kodak tri-x) 3:20 min, photo series
https://vimeo.com/799822661

ORGANISATION AND PLACE

abc.palestine is a nonprofit organization run by seven young Palestinians that aims to spread the bike culture around Palestine by giving the mobility to travel from area A to B to C.

Therefore, abc offers weekly bike sessions to children in Al Am’ari refugee camp. Beside learning how to ride a bicycle the kids find a community, stability and a platform that listens to them.

Al Am’ari camp is located in the east of Ramallah city and is one of the smallest refugee camps in the West Bank with a population of 6.100 inhabitants. The refugees mainly origin from Jaffa, Lydd, Remleh, and Jerusalem. Al-Amari camp has four schools and one health center. Like most other refugee camps, it is suffering from overcrowding, unemployment and bad living conditions.

 THE PROJECT

I have been volunteering with abc for two months and still can’t express the feelings it left me with. 
Considering my entire stay in Israel and Palestine, the time with abc had one of the biggest impacts on me. abc gave me the chance to participate, to be part of a community and to find sense in being a tourist/foreigner in the West Bank: By helping the kids I was helped to process the experience of occupation.

My weekly journeys from Jerusalem to Ramallah and the time in and around Al Am’ari camp are captured in a video. It gives fragmented insight in my contrasting experiences: the heaviness of occupation on one hand and the simple joy of biking kids on the other hand.

I developed the super 8 film by myself, I left it uncut and unprocessed: 3.20 min raw film of one cassette of film, shot within 4 weeks. The video is accompanied by a series of black and white analogue printed photographs.

Super 8 film, analogue photography and printing have been chosen as most fallible mediums that demand the artist’s involvement from beginning till end: Beside the fact of shooting, the process of developing and editing is influenced and owned by the artist.

Eventually a work has been created that seems to be out of time; it contains past, present and future and covers the present under the black and white nostalgy. Therefore, it leaves the viewer with questions of time and meaning.