'A prosperous isolation in Gaza'
Life in the Gaza Strip has been challenging over the past years especially for the ambitious young generation. Some of the Palestinian youth were able to cope with the siege imposed by the Israeli occupiers while others rejected it. Photographer Nidaa Badwan (1987) chose to protest against the dire living conditions in her own unique way. She confined herself to her room in a deep creative retreat for six consecutive months. Her room became an alternative world, a safe haven from the violence and misery of the outside world. The young photographer found greater freedom within the restrictions of her room’s walls. With her camera, she decided to document her daily life. Nidaa dreams of “finding a job that will enable her to implement her creative vision.” She started embodying the different professions she might have been able to carry if she wasn’t trapped in Gaza. So far, she has played the role of a chef, seamstress, musician, painter and writer … all creative and artistic professions.
Without any assistance, the young artist from Gaza captured herself in the various roles she embodied and then published the photos on her blog, as her only means of communication with the outside world. Nidaa is proud of her ability to defy the restrictions imposed on her by the circumstances of her life, “I was able to convert my room into a studio, a workplace and an area where I can practice my hobbies. I’m satisfied and I don’t need anything from the outside world." However, despite her happiness and satisfaction, Nidaa, also called “the Joker,” didn’t hide her desire to break away one day.
Text by Taghrid Abdallah, photos by Nidaa Badwan.