Formerly Detained Palestinian Children Animate Their Lives

In summer 2011, two groups of formally incarcerated Palestinian children produced short animated videos through a post-trauma rehabilitation program run jointly by the East Jerusalem YMCA and Save the Children Sweden. The children drew and narrated the clips, which narrate children’s experience of arrest, detention, travel, and education in the occupied West Bank.

The longer of the two videos, “The Suffering of Palestinian Children,” begins with an animated re-enactment of a Palestinian child’s arrest and detention at the hands of the Israeli army. The narrator reflects, “I lost my childhood in prison,” before calling for the Arab World and international human rights organizations to prevent future violations of Palestinian children’s human rights. The film concludes with a short interview with a young Palestinian boy from Silwan, who discusses his personal experiences of occupation.

The second video, “Our Life,” narrates an ordinary day for two Palestinian children in occupied East Jerusalem. The film reenacts their morning commute, which includes an encounter with Israeli soldiers at a checkpoint. It then moves to a parodic depiction of their inept schoolteacher, a reference to the uneven quality of public education available to Palestinians in East Jerusalem. The film concludes with the two rushing home after Israeli authorities announce a curfew.

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