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Artscape

Free Running Gaza

Two young Palestinians embrace an art form and athletic discipline that offers an escape from life under occupation.

Last updated: 02 Jul 2011 08:21
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Filmmakers: George Azar and Mariam Shahin

In the Khan Younis refugee camp in Gaza, Mohammed and Abdallah have found a way to distract themselves from the overcrowded tenements and squalid alleyways. Both young men have trained for years to become Gaza's leading practitioners of parkour.

As much a life philosophy and an art form as an athletic discipline, parkour is the traversing and scaling of obstacles and barriers through running, jumping and vaulting. Parkour is set apart from political and religious factionalism, from violence and militancy.

For Mohammed, Abdallah and the latest generation of young Palestinians to have grown up in the camp under-educated and unemployed, it is the ultimate means of escape.

The essential definition of parkour is "finding your own way" and Artscape journeys around Gaza in the company of Mohammed and Abdallah to experience what this is like.

"When we practise [parkour] we free ourselves," explains Mohammed. "It is as if we're transported to another world."

 

 

Click here for more on the series.

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Source:
Al Jazeera
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About the series

The New African Photography is a documentary series which profiles six African artists determined to take back control of how their continent is portrayed.

This six-part series showcases how a new generation of African photographers are keen to celebrate what is unique about the region, while remaining unflinching about the real problems facing their countries. Ultimately, it shows their optimism about Africa's future.