2010-2016 — Middle East
About this series
It’s a rainy November morning in Gaza and a truce has just been announced after 8 days of fighting. A young man stands in the rubbles of what is left of his home, destroyed in an air strike just an hour before the war ended. Behind him, a framed picture still hangs crooked on the wall. The boy’s name is Ahmed, he is 18 years old and the son of a fisherman. He wants to live in peace and go to college but we are in the Gaza strip and dreams have their limits here, you often have the feeling of being caught up in a game where you always turn out the looser.
On the other side, 95 kilometers and a wall away, is Jerusalem, the city many Gazawi’s dream of visiting but who most never will. This is a land of contradictions, a land of walls, a land of visible and invisible borders. From Omri’s Art school you can see the separation wall on a clear day. Omri, who got freed from the obligatory Israeli military service by pretending he was gay during the medical examinations, says that he dreams of feeling at home someplace someday, away from the religious and political tensions he has grown up with.
MAKE A WISH is my very long term project, a photo essay looking at the hopes and dreams of youth, inspired by the fact that youth should be the age of infinite possibilities.
The original idea was the thought that youth is the age of infinite possibility because hopes and dreams are not yet conditioned by experience so you might actually believe in miracles.
As I continued the work across the Middle East in the aftermath of the Arab Spring revolutions, I realised until which extent dreams and aspirations are actually conditioned by society. II find youngsters who are interesting to me for one reason or another. It can be because of what they do, what they believe in, where they live or simply what they appear to be. For each portrait I ask the person to write down his or her dream in my notebook.
Loulou d’Aki is a Swedish photographer, born and raised on the southern seaside. Alongside commissioned work, she focuses on long term projects which turn into exhibitions and books.
Her clients include Le Monde, M. le Magazine du Monde, New York Times, National Geographic, Bloomberg Businessweek, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, TOPIC, D. la Repubblica, Internazionale, La Repubblica, TIME, Dagens Nyheter, UNICEF…
Lou was a singer before she became a photographer. She speaks Swedish, English, Italian, French and gets by in German and Hebrew. Middle Eastern based from 2010 – 2015, Loulou d’Aki is currently based in Athens, Greece and works all around the world.