Thanks to Rosi Greenberg and a contingent of internationals, we painted much of the mural Rosi designed on the entry walls to the Friends Play Center in Amari refugee camp. As N mentioned later, when I answered her call while I was in the office, adding this to the their site would make a pleasant relief from the usual death and despair driving the dynamic. Rosi had consulted with some kids by either asking them what images they’d like on the walls or asking them to draw the images. All were very happy and sane, as if the occupation had ended, a dream—trees, rainbows, kids with backpacks, lakes, etc. She told us last night that in another camp, asking the same question, kids initially said they preferred happy images but when drawing most depicted suffering. The program director insisted on happy images for the mural. Rosi then recruited the internationals, some 10 of them, each to pair with a child, each with one pot of paint, one color. She told them which color went with which outline, and the teams joyously went to work. Gradually, maybe the prospect of snacks, the kids peeled off leaving the adults to paint.
Of course photographing this was a delight, my way of painting, joining the action. I began before the painting began, while the energetic teacher, the same one I photogaphed last year, played with and taught the kids. Number games, word games, some of them in English (body parts), much I didn’t understand, but the kids were fully present, except for a few who rode the small merry go round. Unfortunately my lens developed a problem: stuck in zooming.
Began well enough, smooth zoom throughout its range, 18-70, and then a step at a time locking. Depending on how I held the camera I could get some range back. Later, searching the Internet I discover this is a common problem with this lens. What to do? Find a repair shop. Maybe in Ramallah if lucky, maybe I travel to W Jerusalem. For now it barely functions, I have auxiliary lenses, but with extreme ranges, wide and telephoto. This is the first perturbation in the system, minor compared with what others suffer, but vexing.
Surveying the wall of the school, usually a good technique to pick up subtleties, I noticed prints of the photos I made last year. Needless to say I felt proud, my role which to me often feels marginalized was made more prominent. Even tho no one would know I was the author.