"I want to show the impression of the face of the children — their style of living, their background, their experience and how they suffer from the occupation. The children here live in horror and panic; sometimes the mothers will tell the children not to go outside because the army will come.” Safaa, age 12

"I want to show the impression of the face of the children — their style of living, their background, their experience and how they suffer from the occupation. The children here live in horror and panic; sometimes the mothers will tell the children not to go outside because the army will come.” Safaa, age 12

Safaa, age 12

Safaa, age 12

The Balata Refugee Camp is located outside the West Bank city of Nablus. It is home to almost 25,000 residents. It is the most densely populated refugee camp in the West Bank. The Balata camp was established in 1951. It was supposed to be a temporary home for the hundreds of thousands of Palestinian refugees who were displaced from their homes during the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948.

In recent years, Balata has seen hundreds of deaths andarrests, dozens of home demolitions and almost nightly invasions by the Israeli army. In late May when Israel’s military and a group of Palestinians in Gaza fought rocket and airforce battles, Israeli troops entered the Balata Refugee Camp and shot at residents’ homes. It is in this refugee camp that the Picture Balata workshop was started to teach youth about photography.

Picture Balata puts cameras into the hands of Palestinian children born and raised inside the Israeli-occupied territory. Participants range from ages 11 to 18. They photograph the situation as they live it. Three youths from the program recently toured the United States and exhibited their work.

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This article was adapted from Picture Balata.
You can see more photos at http://picturebalata.net

Ala', age 14

Ala', age 14

 “ I want to speak to the Americans since they are living better than we are, and they are also supporting the Israeli occupation of our land. I hope my photos can teach people something.” Ala', age 14

“ I want to speak to the Americans since they are living better than we are, and they are also supporting the Israeli occupation of our land. I hope my photos can teach people something.” Ala', age 14