Samar Hazboun | Beyond Checkpoints
Country of origin: Palestine
Project location: Palestine
Program: Arab Documentary Photography Program
More than 67 Palestinian women were forced to give birth at checkpoints between 2000 and 2005. Comprehensive closures during the Second Intifada (2001) resulted in complete prohibitions on Palestinian movement into Israel, and between the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. These restrictions remain until this day and Israel stands behind this policy by arguing that it is necessary to protect its citizens.
This project explores a series of births that took place at checkpoints by pairing portraits with relevant belongings of the subjects involved. Whether it is a premature death certificate or clothes prepared for a child that were never worn, these elements were inanimate witnesses to an otherwise undocumented event. They aim to introduce personal narratives by taking the viewer into images beyond what is usually seen, inviting them to explore stories through their secondary characters. The project is an intersection of memory, loss, grief, and a sad truth that all that remains from these tragedies are mere objects that bear witness to a slowly fading history.