Boy with a Camera
In 2008-2009 David Reeb documented Ni'lin's struggle against the construction of the Separation Fence. In this short text he focuses on one of his paintings that came out of this activity
Ni'ilin is a small Palestinian town close to the Israeli settlement of Modi'in Illit, not far from the village of Bil'in. In 2008-2009 I recorded a good deal of video there, helping document the inhabitants' struggle against the construction of the Separation Fence (and later the construction and presence of a wall) on their land. Several people were killed there, including a ten-year old boy, Ahmed Moussa, and there were many injuries, some very severe. The funerals were painful to photograph because there is so much raw anger. One has to climb on a wall or something and capture the stream of people flowing past.
On one occasion I was recording some teenagers throwing stones at soldiers invading the village. The soldiers moved in our direction shooting. They passed me and some other photographers and disappeared into the olive groves. In the village clinic a couple of kids were being treated for injuries; I photographed that and went back to the stone throwing. A young boy in a red Coca-Cola T-shirt appeared in the lens, make-believe filming me through his hands while walking, like a photographer.
The Ni’ilin protests became smaller for a while, perhaps partly due to a great deal of pressure on the people from the village, including the above mentioned deaths and injuries, though they continue to this day and recently have been reviving. I got tired of running away from the soldiers coming in through the gate in the wall and started spending more Fridays at the demonstrations in Nabi Saleh.
The text was originally included in the book "Between States" published in English by Black Dog publishing (2015). The book contains a collection of texts and images by David Reeb and Simon Faulkner. Two other excerpts from this book were published in Hebrew in Local Call.