Artas, Occupied West Bank. Summer 2007.
Sometimes it astonished me how impervious Palestinian children seemed to the devistation around them. This young boy is from a village that has been under attack by Israeli soldiers gaurding construction crews that have systematically destroyed acres of farmland, illegally (even based on Israeli law, which allows for no expansion of existing settlements in the West Bank) building a sewage plant to service Efrata settlement. Palestinian civil engineers who have seen the blueprints fear that the sewage plant will not be sufficient to service the load planned for it. Thus the suspicion is that the excess sewage will then be dumped into the valley around which the village of Artas is built rendering farming impossible. It is likely that this child will grow up impoverished as a result of an illegal sewage plant. Nonetheless, in a conflict that has claimed at least 952 Palestinian children and 118 Israeli children since 2000, children in Israel and Palestine seem chillingly happy. Somewhere, mingled with the likelihood that their innocence will one day be shattered, there lies hope.
Nikon D200, 35mm 2.0