We left Hebron early in the morning, after we (Aglaia and I) spent our night in an immense appartement with roof balcony and "cheap" 1000 and 1 night forniture. Jumping from taxi to minibuses all the way up through Ramallah and Qalquiliya, passing those unesthetical check points, walking across barbwired blockades, reckless of the soldiers in the tank calling us back. It's incredible how you get used to this all and how unspectacular it is! To us now the feeling is of total security.
But then arrived in Jayyus, a very small palestinian village, the phone rang... The last days in Hebron we met Simone, italian press photographer investing in a pretty longterm project in palestina and israel. We were told he was beaten down KO by some palestinian youngsters (become unconscious and went to hospital) and his WHOLE material was stolen!!! He was changing apprtement so he had just EVERYTHING with him: computer, hard disks, cameras... everything gone! ... ... ...
He is ok now. But that must hurt so much. He allready got shot with plastic bullets in B'lin, was threatened heavily by israeli soldiers don't know where...
But still we want to keep the vision of these places positive.
Later we went to a gate wich the NGOs are monitoring here in Jayyous. A desolated place. Some soldiers showed up with an enormous Hummer jeep (gift from the u s army) for opening the gate and letting the workers come back from the fields (wich belongs to them but are divided by the fence). "Who are you! (?)" - "Hello!" - "Have nottin better a do then stay here?" - "Oh I do pictures". The israeli soldiers where very young. One opened the door next me. Can I take picture? "No". "Common, just details of the hand". "Oh nice I have studied photography for three years, I love pics of the hands" "Cool. So: can I?" "No. ... Ok I ask the commander". A kind of a white rapper walked towards me, his M16 machine gun hanging on him like a nu-metal guitarist (down somewhere between his knees and his feets). Braces. "Werare you from?". "Switzerland". "Oh you got a gun at home" "yes". "that's stupid" "mh". An old man on a donkey passes by. "We are the most moral army on the world" - "hm?" - "We use soldiers for opening the gate and let the enemy pass by". We kept on discussing. Aglaia not far away and the NGO woman next to her. He is young. Left russia as a kid for coming with his parents "back" to the "sacred land". His father says that the russians would have solved the problem with the arabs faster. He himself is scared to death by the muslims, wondering about my courage staying at their village. They all are terrorists. After 9.11 the world is not save. Yes the Hummer jeep is a gift of the americans. "Fucking jeep, slow like a donkey, turning radius like a jet, you get litterally cooked inside... fucking jeep". Sometimes they get into the village, violent incursions against precise targets: terrorists. At least action, otherwise it's so boring.
The conversation was ver interesting to me, really, and I had to control my words and often shut my mouth. Nobody else walked through. They closed the gate again. I took some pictures but he didn't want at all. Some more pictures of some soldier here. I'm really afraid I'm doing stupid clichés I will show to nobody. But it's an imprtant experience to me, to us. Very.
Back to the NGOs place, in the village, everybody hopes there will be no raids tonight. Kids are playing outside and souvenirs of my childhood of hot summer evenings, at my parents place in ticino, come to my mind. I try to concentrate also on souvenirs of the army, for a human understaning of the soldiers point of view. This is all so fucked up.