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Seeds of Palestine Dreams:

SEEDS OF PALESTINE dreans, is the title of 2nd edition of a book, where 99 Palestinians expres in selfportrait and words, there  relation with ladn of Palestine and people living there (previev 1st edition) Book -2nd, edition is on the short list, to be published by publisher Sanje

Eyad Tamallah, 20 ....I have many dreams. The big dream is for the world to be in peace. I believe that peace will start from the people themselves and not from the government...

I was born in Quira but I live in Ramallah. I study engineering at Birzeit University. I love to do things where you can see changes. The purpose of engineering is to make life easier for people. I think this is a big purpose. I also love philosophy. To learn about society. For a young person, to build your future, it is good to go to the city. It has more opportunities and you can meet people from different places. You can get a wider perspective so I think this is important. But I also really like coming back to the village during the weekends, holidays. I like the way people here are together, the family evenings, how they love each other. When I am here I do agricultural work and I feel I am part of the village. I do a lot of traditional farming. Here I get a lot of knowledge. I think it is important to work with the land. When you are in contact with nature, you get a very deep connection with yourself. I think this will make you stronger, wiser.

I have many dreams. The big dream is for the world to be in peace. I believe that peace will start from the people themselves and not from the government. This is my big dream, that people find peace in their hearts. I see my future here in Palestine. I think you should help your society, your country, the place where you live and where you share your memories. But I would love to go for a trip somewhere. I wish to go to the sea. To see the other side of our land. As a young man I can’t go to Jerusalem, to the sea, Haifa, Jaffa. So I wish to go there.


During 10 days in July 2018, anthropologist Barbara Vodopivec and me did 100+ interviews with selfportraits in the country of Palestine – cities and villages in the West Bank. The result is unique, nothing I could have imagined beforehand. It presents a parallel life, deeply rooted in heartfelt  relationships between people, as well as to the land. Land as a space that provides everything necessary for life, as well as culture and history. The wisdom based on the intelligence of heart, which goes beyond unconscious survival patterns of human nature, is very valuable for everyone of us, because we are all to some extent exposed to the pressures of domination, exploitation, control, violence. It is the way  to find a peaceful transition to the next step of our evolution in harmony with all beings.
At least half of the Palestinians are scattered around the world, but remain connected with the land and the people in Palestine. In this way, the wisdom they developed is also spreading around the world. The situation is similar to the side effect of the occupation of Tibet since 1950. More than half of the Tibetans live outside of Tibet, spreading Buddhist wisdom all over the world as an important mankind’s endeavor to understand life and develop peaceful ways of coexistence. It is based on compassion, which is also a common point with Palestinian wisdom. It lies in their hearts.
What also became clear to me during our time in Palestine is that Jewish people, through their centurieslong struggle for survival, developed extreme intellectual consciousness. The latter drives and motivates us “from the opposite side” to the intelligence of heart. To this day, these two fundamentally different worlds have not found a peaceful dialogue. When talking about the future, many of our Palestinian interlocutors stressed that the most important goal should be peaceful coexistence for ALL in Palestine, which also includes the settlers who took over the Palestinian land.


introduction from the book  by Barbara Vodopivec, anthropologist, Society for Human Rights Humanitas, Slovenia

How do young people in Palestine see themselves? How do they live their lives, what do they dream about and what are their hopes for the future? With this book we try to give a glimpse into the way youngpeople in Palestine think about these questions. Thisis not a research about Palestinian youth or a holisticrepresentation of their lives. Rather, it is an artproject, a mosaic of images and a story about the way they understand themselves and the place andtime in which they live.

Through the use of self-portrait photography and short interviews we hope to capture young people’s voices, particularly their experience and expressionof a personal and collective identity. The portraits,which always place an individual against his or her background, explore identity from a very intimate, individual perspective but always in relation to thebroader environment. Personal and collectiveidentities are closely interconnected and in the narrative of the young people, the harsh politicaland economic situation further intertwines the two.When young people talk about their own lives theyalso talk about Palestine. When they describe their home they also describe their country. In theirnarrative Palestine is not something abstract but what they experience and express through their daily life – through work, dance, sport, studies, art,architecture, friendship, family. As many emphasize,due to the struggle for freedom and justice,Palestine is in everything they do. This means thatpersonal dreams are impossible to separate fromthe hopes and aspiration for a Palestinian future.

The portraits and interviews thus aim to tell a story of how young people feel their identity, how they experience it through their personal self as well as through the place in which they live, and in relationto people they live with, or are separated from. Forthe context of Palestine, the latter is particularly important, with Palestinians living divided betweenthe West Bank, Gaza, and the rest of the world. Thisseparation, together with the system of oppression, discrimination and colonization which makes it almost impossible for people to travel, creates a distance that many young people try to overcome in their imagination by pointing to their emotional attachment to places and people they have only heard about, either through friends, parents orgrandparents.

The people we met were outspoken about the way the political and social context they live in limits theirdreams and possibilities for the future. And the sadness and anger this causes. Yet they alsoexpressed an incredible perseverance, resilience andhopefulness. Despite insecurities that perpetuatetheir lives young people stress the importance oflooking forward and struggle for change. Their dreams and imagination of a different future are not to be excluded from this change.

All the photos are self-portraits. While thephotographer set up the photo studio it was thepeople themselves who took the portraits. This so called Selffish Studio developed by the Slovenianphotographer Bojan Brecelj enables people to express themselves in a creative way, making themnot only participants but co-authors of the project.

Every portrait was followed by a short interviewwhich is partially published together with the photo. The photo studio was set up on different locations – streets, universities, youth centres, parks, cafes.Aside from few exceptions most of the people wereselected randomly. Conversations took place in English or in Arabic with the help of a translator.

During our ten day stay in Palestine we visited East Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Nablus, Jenin, Ramallah andHebron, always with the surrounding areas. People wemet live in these cities for various reasons: some were born there while others moved to the area to work,study, or are only passing through. These mix of people with different personal backgrounds shows the flow of the cities and its interconnectedness, the mobility, which although limited, it is still taking place.

During our stay in Palestine we also planned to visit Gaza yet we were not able to obtain permission toenter. Unfortunately, we were also not able to meetPalestinians living inside the 1948 territory, the importance of which was stressed by several peoplewe met. Hopefully, this is something we will be able to do another time in the future.

Lastly, we would also like to mention that both authors of the publication are form Slovenia and donot live in Palestine. This of course had an impact onthe way we approached the project, on the set up ofthe studio, on the questions we asked and the final selection for the publication. Our voices are thus impossible to exclude from the publication. This istherefore not just a book about the way young people see themselves, but to a certain extent, it is also connected to the way we see lives of youngpeople in Palestine. 

Intruduction to the 2'nd edition : (google translate from slo )

Hopefully this is something we will be able to do at some other time in the future, stated in the foreword to the first edition, because we were not able to get permission to enter Gaza to interview the young people as we were able to do in the West Bank ( the Jordan River) and in Jerusalem.

If I had not visited Palestine and Israel, it would have been an impossible mission for me to connect and understand this part of the world. Meetings and conversations with many people throughout the West Bank of occupied Palestine, who welcomed me with open arms, opened my eyes. So many years of constant oppression and aggression should make them miserable. But I experienced the opposite. The Palestinians showed us another side of (human) nature - I met proud and down-to-earth people whose self-confidence is based on trust in life itself. They managed to establish a parallel life, which they live together to the fullest. Order there is not based on obedience or survival, but on self-awareness, self-awareness that is not formally expressed. I could identify with this because, even though I was only a passing stranger, they welcomed me so warmly. A simple definition of coexistence among Palestinians in this part of the world has three pillars: a loving relationship with the land where they live; strong mutual relations or strong community; a deeply internalized consciousness of unity with a unique, invincible life. Many have expressed their dreams in interviews that one day there will be peace and harmony among the people currently living on this earth. Palestinians in Palestine - now in Gaza - know that many more can be killed, but that their spirit and the true nature they embody will eventually be part of a shared peaceful future. In a world where the consciousness of interconnectedness (unity) is a threat to many, the "parallel life model" mastered by the Palestinians, especially in Gaza for 75 years, the Lebanese with the experience of the thirteen-year war in Beirut, the Syrians and other Arabs in this part of the world , a common human experience that is spreading, as a large part of these families are displaced around the world - they live among us. at the same time, they remain connected to their original place and people. The awareness that it is possible to live fully, even as a parallel life, should not be just a dream for many around the world who do not agree to violence. In a world with such awareness, there will be no division between Palestinians and Israelis.

Project was exibited first time in Ljubljana /SLO/-Galerija Bolka  - please connect us to the next place to exibit and netwoork on, bojan 

Posted by bojanb
a few months ago


>12. 6. 2018<

Nicholas is a manager of 6 five star hotels in Greece. As an investment and on the basis of his own ideas, he is the first in Greece to have developed and produced a new type of electric cars that cost only 5,000 EUR! First, read his interview!

 full story

Posted by bojanb
6 years ago

Linking with Greece “East bank” via Ferry

>15. 1. 2018<

We went scouting to connect to the land and people on Aegean side of the “Med” for the stories and collaborations to come.
Take a look at bits of our rehearsal journey, revealing the footprints jet to make H E R E!

Preliminary trip to Sicily

>15. 10. 2017<

Med Land Project

Dragi zavezniki, dragi prijatelji, dragi sodelujoči in spremljajoči, povezani v projektu MED Land, ki je na sledi razkrivanja sveta, ki ga prepoznavam kot svojega, edinstvenega z eno samo skupno definicijo Mediteran … Nadaljujem v angleščini, ker so prisotni tudi le angleško govoreči.

The preliminary trip to Sicily! …came along with the intriguing challenge to participate on SabirFest 5-8 October in (Messina, Catania and even in Regio Calabria/mainland port opposite Sicily/

Sicily and Malta are on the priority list for spring 2018 MED Land project! Eva Marn and I drove all the way to Napoli “ our second stop on the way were  Pompey ! in the stillness of the moments of no return… actually, this stillness is not still at all.

The best part of the festival for me was to meet people who are engaged in real-time projects in/about the Mediterranean, moving around physically and leaving traces. Three of them caught my attention and admiration. I met in person with Simone Perotti and Francesca R.Pirro – Progetto Mediterranea, Stratis VogiatzisCaravan Project, and Giulia Motta Zanin and Auro Michelon –Fuorivia Project .

Simone Perortti and I had a conversation, related to the Progetto Mediterranea: a sailing, cultural, and scientific expedition, which included five years of sailing throughout the Mediterranean Sea, the Black Sea and the Northern Red Sea … ” My initial idea was that the Mediterranean area was an area of countries around the sea, but it was wrong! Then, I thought it was in the big cities on the coast, but now, the third level of the idea is that the real Mediterranean can be found on the islands of the Mediterranean. Islands are where people can find themselves resounding with the places and having the vibration of themselves with the place We are looking for vibrations of ourselves in the place in Mediterranean – that means that a place is right for us. It is a kind of citizenship of the Mediterranean. That is why I am https://vimeo.com/239501104Simone Perrotti and I had a conversation (here, because Maydan-SabirFest is talking about Med citizenship. I want to talk about united Mediterranean now, when everybody would say, “but, it is impossible”. But it literally is possible, maybe in 50 years …”

SabirFest-Europa and Mediterranian-Which future? -Simone Perotti speech LINK: https://vimeo.com/239357481

Blind fisherman -one of many great stories from caravan project : by Stratis Vogiatzis

Traces of MED Land Project

>27. 1. 2017<

See our first publicly shown  interactive-slideshow about the MED Land project -Nights of Museums /Museum of Stari Grad-Hvar island CRO /MSG is a partner in the project /

>>>> "interactive slideshow" to advance use right arrow > on keyboard, or tap on smartphone

…in 2016 the MED project concept was rewritten with the orientation on the islands, and I needed an experience that would answer me what does it mean to sail longer distances to new places … find a safe place in the port, do all needed on the boat, and have time to work on the project. It is about the timing, how much time and my attention do I need for “the approach from the sea”. 

Fifteen people backed me up! to do this logistic research trip! to Ionian Islands..

1st Research trip report!

>28. 10. 2016<

After the MED project was on the paper a true need to do a basic research trip came up …

On the base of previous projects in Mediterranean – Adriatic sea, on the Croatian coast and in Venice lagoon, also “coming from the sea”, approaching the land on the boat,  interacting with people and land, documenting with self-portraying, on-location photography, audio interviews, documentary photos and videos – during 2016, a larger vision of All Mediterranean project was defined. Who, what, how, beneficiaries…, a complete concept was written. It was done with the help of three experts from different fields.**

How to work “on location” – the active part of the project, will be visible from what I can imagine from previous experiences. Staying and living on the boat, and functioning in the project terms from the boat, is not new to me. My experience having the boat as the living and working base was limited to Adriatic Sea (from 1986 on!), which is only a small and shallow part of Mediterranean. After the MED concept I needed an experience that would answer me what does it mean to sail longer distances to new places … find a safe place in the port, do all needed on the boat, and have time to work on the project. It is about the timing, how much time and my attention do I need for “the approach from the sea”.

Fifteen people backed me up! to do this logistic research trip!

I got also a perfect crew, Jana Prepeluh, performer artist, with experiences of collaboration with other people on the projects, traveling and working also abroad, half-Bombay citizen, and as well sailing in the past… She is wind-boat-sea lover, willing to overcome any challenge, which sea can be :))

In the last week, Eva Marn – an activist for human rights, living rights…, layer, active in NGO sector (Humanitas), start-up person…, joined us. Eva was one of the experts, working on MED concept.

The boat needed attention )), also on the way..

Where it all started again?? At BASILICA DI SAN NICOLA in Bari, Italy, in summer 2010?

I came to Bari to find out if Nalu (the sailingboat) is the right boat for me. Since I did not know at that time anything about wooden boats, Andrea Tagliapietra,, from Venice, Giudecca, third generation wooden boat builder, accompanied me … at the end of the day, before we flow back to Venice, he proposed me to go and visit Basilica di San Nicola … inside of this huge space, with the wooden ceiling, like the inside bottom part of the boat, I got blessed with the very unique and strong inspiration “about the universal principle of energy structure which is turning the life on Earth – a different and more complex than Yin-Yang principle, which is based on tension of polarities… So besides having a mixed opinion from Andrea if Nalu, she, is good enough to buy, I got “an inspiration”, which still now, after 6 years, is engaging me… My conclusion was that already visiting San Nicola (named by saint, the protector of sea-traveling people) was more than I could expect and wish from that day… Three months later I came back for the boat with Ivana and Sabine to sail from Bari (I) to Piran (Slo), and started the restoration (which was at the end even published in the book by Andrea Chappai-Barce in Legno). At Bari, two key points for this current project were embracing me: one is the boat and the other is the Mediterranean, as one of the great sources of “new age” – the world where the new logic of living is seeking to incarnate.
And the boat? 
Well, this has also a long story. In the sixties I traveled few times to India, by road, train, hitchhiking…, by land. And  when I came there, I WAS THERE! Really there! So different from entering through airport and being another 10 days lunatic. In the eighties I loved to visit and stay on the Croatian islands; Susak, Kornati, Unije, Ist, Premuda, Mala Rava, Vis, … yeah, freedom, openness was all over the place in nature and people. Those times I came by boat! Interacting with people, taking photos, filming,.. publishing feature stories, also in foreign geo-magazines…

– mag cover img ))

Coming over the sea, from the sea side, gave me a specific entry point for connecting with an island and tracking the space in time of the following days… AND also this last basic research trip, with the focus on Ionian islands in Greece (a distance of 400 NM from Faros – Hvar), gave me the same feedback! Coming by boat and touching the ground on the shore, is most primary and natural way to establish relation with people, and to trace your way through the island in the way everybody else living on it does it, from the ancient times on!! **
“HOW was the trip?” I did 3 LOG emails on the way – which were shared through the supporting group of “18” who backed me up financially or contributed with other material or nonmaterial means.
PDF LOG 1,2,3, is here,  and summary of the trip in English will follow ))

the conclusions :

by boat is the appropriate way: the basic wisdom of photography / film…, documenting a story making, is about being in the right place at the right time, to be THE witness! So the first step is THE contact with the place, to be in tune as much as possible, and very important is, as well, having the clear aim of your interest. I can stand beside the person in front of the monument and most possible we would be in two worlds, depending on previous “steps”. It is about tuning in with your all senses open.
= story by story, ongoing diary, ongoing publishing is the basic form to share the content of documentary / feature / selffish -self-portraits and interviews
= creating a network for collaboration and exchange between the people involved in the project – primarily the islanders. This is a basic, primal purpose of creating and publishing

sharing “stories” with network of “followers”, let it grow, and focus on them as primer audience

feedback from followers and collaborators is a constitutive part of creating the project, (through webpage, FB page)

crossing the  networks: of followers, “islanders” and of people involved in the project

constitute a budget (contributed mostly from the network of followers) on a monthly basis
=  residency program: other creative people can join the project for a limited time on the boat, and create also their work on the related theme (s)
= start with the web page and load also the previous work, done recently in Adriatic and Venice
revise planning on the basis of experience from MED project – research trip in Sept-Oct 2016 ***
coordinate the team and workflow: communication/PR person, editor+ and translator for WEB and FB page, next crew member ****
improving the boat
improving  photo, video audio recording gear 
* besides me, there were three experts working on the MED project concept: Stan CoendersEva Marnand Japec Jakopin, the different approaches with a very clear and condensed result.
**  the question is when I am on the shore and even some km away from the boat, who would actually know that I am “one of them”? … In my experience I do carry this “attitude” with me, and I act, communicate and respond as a close-by neighbour, loosening the feeling of being a foreigner. Confidence is actually the key attitude to really blend, experience and respond, in my case with cameras, recorders, notes…
*** in 23 days long trip (plus 2 days of final preparations in port), which is 360 active hours, on 870 NM long trip, we spent nearly 230h for sailing and mooring. It means 8 days were left to “interact ” with people on the islands. In our case three days less! since we had to wait for better weather conditions to cross the Adriatic Sea … In 23 days long research trip, only 5 days were actually left for the project (22 % of time)! During the actual project in the future, proportion of time spent for traveling and time, working on the project, will be  different, but “long distances over the sea” must be calculated. Estimates for the future: 3 months altogether is needed for staying longer on 7 locations (islands), focused on the project and coming up with some 20 stories!

Improvement in “logistic – traveling” also needs some updates on the boat, to gain some speed under the sails as well as on engine.

**** next crew member – the experience to have two important rules, focus on the project, as well as being a skipper and doing most of the sailing navigation, and then being also responsible that all is well in the port, doing some repairs, taking care of water, fuel…, it all takes time and energy, and NOW I can see that a crew member that has (also) skipper skills, is very welcome, at least for some parts of the trip in Greece and Turkey islands.

timing my plan was to work on the project 3 years, 5 times for 3 months (spring and autumn). The reality of intensive pressure everywhere, on the coast and islands, generated from the tourist business, made me think that actually winters are better. Tourist season, at least in Greece, starts in late April and ends up in the end of October. People living on the islands actually pop-up in the open in the winter. Most of the activities, on the land in olive plantations, vineyards …, and building season, are actually happening in late autumn, winter and spring, so at least, the first Leg of the MED project should be over the winter period.

visit also Gallery
Bojan Brecelj

Venetians in Venice about Venice

Facing Venice is a project in itself as well as is the initial project for a larger project "Mediterranean ring", researching the identity of Mediterranean as our lager common living space.

Working title :  Venetians in Venice about Venice, Expressing the identity, "Facing Venice"

> 19. 3. 2009 <

proposed by : Bojan Brecelj / Slovenian artist  photographer

  • Keywords : art (research) project, self-portraits, Venetians,  photography, photography exhibition, group exhibition

As a photographer who has through the years many times worked on the theme of Venice (5 published books and one extensive article), and as an artist who in 1978 represented Yugoslavia in Bienalle of Art in Venice, I am proposing to do another work, a portrait photography exhibition that would be accomplished with Venetians in Venice about Venice.

Short description of the project :

My aim for this project is to do a work of art (media  photography and sound) which would express  identity of Venice through the people who live and work here.
The body of work would be photographs - self-portraits done on different location in the town and short interviews with potrayed people.
Portraits and interviews would be done with citizens of Venice willing to participate in the project by expressing themselves visually and verbally within the context of  their relationship with Venice.


First portrait :

The results of this project would be presented in photography exhibition (and sound installation) as well as in printed publication - photographs and text from the interviews.
Presumably one third of project would be accomplished with my own documentary photos from the live situation of the people living here.
Why images and not just words? Images are more complex information, and experiencing the quality and wholeness of the personality and identity, images /portraits and specifically and specifically self-portrait do show that.  Then, words expressing thoughts and ideas give different but complementary aspect to the images. 

The Tool :

  • The tool developed for self-portraying, where person view her/himself in the mirror and trigger camera (which is behind the mirror) in its own moment, gives unique results reflecting creativity and open-hearted being.
  • The official site of self-portrait by this system is www.selfportraitstudios.com. The system that is an invention by itself is developed by myself. The intellectual rights- the principe of doing portrait photography through the mirror is registered by cc rights. It is an open code logic, which mens that everybody can use and develop the system under conditions that all can be copied and developed on.
  • Self-portrait Set up is designed for use on location, outside or inside any location, and do the portraying with realistic background under professional light conditions.


ABOUT THE AUTHORS : The exhibition is actually Group exhibition: 

Since portraits are actually at least co-created by those who would make self-portraits, and tell there story, the exhibition is actually a group one! And everybody participating would be named as an author!
The initial concept, the tool itself, and the aesthetics is developed and done by Bojan Brecelj 
Short CV: on separate page.

Facing Venice is a project in itself as well as is the initial project for a larger project "Mediterranean ring", researching the identity of Mediterranean as our lager common living space.



Bojan Brecelj
8th July 2009