2016 / Editorial / Photo Essay

Al Khalil / Hebron

  • Photographer
    Lorenzo Tugnoli
  • Agency / Studio

Since October 2015 Hebron or Al Khalil in Arabic, was at the center of a new wave of violence. In this city of southern West Bank, Israeli settlers and Palestinians live in close proximity in the area around the Ibrahimi mosque, or the Cave of the Patriarchs, a site revered by both religions. Over the following months stabbing attacks and confrontations at Israeli army checkpoints occurred on a daily basis. The recent unrest in the West Bank was triggered by disputes over the status of Al-Aqsa Mosque in East Jerusalem but Hebron has been for years the theatre of tensions between Palestinians and settlers. The heavy militarization led to the large-scale abandonment of the area by Palestinian residents and to the paralysis of commercial life. I spent the month of November 2015 documenting how the on-going tensions are affecting the life of Palestinian residents. The images presented here are part of an ongoing project. This preliminary study of the city is a way to get closer to its inhabitants and to reflect on what I have the capacity and the need to tell. After nearly five years of experience working in Afghanistan as a photojournalist I needed to focus my attention on developing a personal photographic voice. In this project I focus my research on the complexity of daily life beyond the news events. I look for a deeper proximity and understanding of my subjects. And the narrative tools I explore are specific of the photographic medium.

Lorenzo Tugnoli (b. 1979, Italy) is a photographer based in Beirut. His work has been published by The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Le Monde, Newsweek, Time Magazine, Wired, Financial Times, The New Republic, The Atlantic, Der Spiegel, LFI - Leica Fotografie International. He is a regular contributor of the The Washington Post. In 2014 he published The Little Book of Kabul, a book project that depicts a portraif of Kabul through the daily life of a number of artists who live in the city, in collaboration with writer Francesca Recchia. Lorenzo is represented by Contrasto.