In July 2002, the Government of Israel decided on the construction of a “security barrier“ between the Palestinian autonomous areas of the West Bank, and Israel. Amongst those whose livelihoods have been affected by the Wall are Palestinian taxi drivers. These Palestinians cannot cross over to the Israeli side even though the reverse is not true. This restriction not only hampers their ability to earn but also takes a toll on their mental health.
“We are not free,” one taxi driver is quoted on Verena Andrea Prenner’s website. “If there is a border, and it’s up to them to allow you if you can go outside or not, then you are in a prison. We can not do what we want. Tourists come here to see the zoo. Some people [come] through the checkpoint to see how we are living and sorry for saying it, but we feel like animals and the people come to take pictures of us.”
Born in Austria in 1982, Verena Andrea Prenner has a degree in sociology. In 2013, she moved to Israel and Palestine, first living and working in Tel Aviv and then moving to the refugee camps of Palestine. During her time there, she also photographed Muslim weddings along with a Palestinian photographer and wrote a weekly column, Notes From The Middle East, for an Austrian newspaper. Since February 2014, she has been freelancing for the art film production house, No Process.
Contained is part of the exhibitions line-up for this edition of the Delhi Photo Festival starting on October 30 at the IGNCA, Delhi.