West Bank 2008–10
After a first trip on the surface of clichés, Reto Albertalli returns to the Palestinian Occupied Territories – on invitation of Juliano Mer Khamis Freedom Theater – for teaching photography to teenagers, traumatized by the situation. He finds himself in the Jenin refugee camp, a bastion of violent resistance, especially during the second Intifada.
Inviting young local photographers to shape their own images far from our projections, Reto’s personal project evolves searching behind the façades, in glances and gestures, the slow and dark heaviness of an occupation. The situation is weighing for too long on a minority, dangerously radicalizing, desperately.
Through his work, the photographer witnessed scenes of life between tradition and modernity. Thanks to his camera, he makes precious encounters: leaders of the resistance or even young girls with a heavy past marked by attempts of suicide bombings, all between trauma and myth. These discoveries, strong and intimate at the same time, were unexpected opportunities for revealing that in these places marked by daily violence, there is neither pure hatred nor fundamentalist judgment. Rather resignation, bewilderment and fear. The other exits anonymity and we feel him close: universally human.