The Free Runners of Gaza
The 2014 Israel-Gaza war left 18,000 Gazan homes completely destroyed, making entire neighborhoods uninhabitable. To many Palestinians these areas symbolize the ongoing oppression they face, but to a small group of teenagers the ruins offer a surprising opportunity. These remnants of war act as the stage on which they prove they are not merely victims, but actors in their own search for freedom.
These are the members of Gaza Parkour and Free Running.
A group of teenagers that practices the art of Parkour: the sport of moving rapidly through an urban area, overcoming obstacles by running, jumping, and climbing.
But to the members of this team it is more. It is an expression of resistance. It is a way to take charge over their own risks, dangers, opportunities and personal development. A way to show they’re not defined by their oppressors, but by their own actions.
With my photographs I visualize both the obstacles they are faced with, and their means of overcoming them. The rubble of the bombed and burned out buildings are the oppression, while their bodies represent their defiance.
I feel that the narrative surrounding Palestinians has been over-represented by a victimizing rhetoric. The main aim of this project is to counter this by showing the self-determination and self-empowerment practiced by the PK-Gaza team.