|The Balata Camp Multi-media Installation|
2-30 - 5.30 Saturday, 3 April
Balata Refugee Camp is one of the most hard hit communities in the West Bank, Palestine. Refugees from the 1948 expulsion, the over 30,000 residents are crammed into a single suffocating square kilometre. Unemployment is the norm, and most families rely on UNWRA handouts for survival. Daily 'visits' by Israeli military jeeps and tanks that park at the entrances and shoot into the camp are taken for granted. It is rare to meet somebody who hasn't tasted tear gas, every second boy seems to have been shot at some stage, and there isn't a house the soldiers haven't entered at some point.
Despite being the largest refugee camp in the West Bank, Balata receives very limited outside support. Visitors are rare and links to abroad are practically non-existent.
The Balata Refugee Camp installation is composed of pictures, sound, children's art, photos, film, stories and video and audio interviews. The content is determined by the people of the camp, and is intended to both represent life here and bring a message to people in the 'West'. The installation will be coming on tour around the US, UK and Sweden, aiming to raise awareness about the complex and desperate situation in the refugee camps, spur viewers into action and build links between people and organisations in Balata camp and others outside. These connections will hopefully lead to increased visits and new projects such as a library and cultural centre.
The Balata Installation will be in Hebden Bridge for one day on Saturday afternoon at the Trades Club where we hope to be able to show videos, films, sound interviews and the visual exhibits in one place. We hope that you will be able to come and that you will bring friends. It will be a unique opportunity to understand life in a Palestinian refugee camp.
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