On Sept. 13, 1993, Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Yasser Arafat, chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization, stood within the embrace of President Bill Clinton on the south lawn of the White House and shook hands on an agreement aimed at ending a bloody conflict that had divided their people for more than 100 years.
The Oslo peace accords, brokered after months of secret negotiations, surprised the world and sparked hope that the Israelis and Palestinians would soon find a way to coexist in peace.
But 20 years later, that hasn’t happened. Israel still occupies the disputed West Bank. The Palestinians are still no closer to their own independent state. And there is extreme disillusionment among the civilians on both sides who live in the region — a feeling photojournalist Cedric Gerbehaye documents in his new multimedia project “Broken Hopes,” which documents life in the West Bank after the Oslo accords.
Gerbehaye, who has previously covered conflicts in the Congo and in Sudan, spent a month in the West Bank aiming to tell the story of what it’s like to live in an occupied territory. His road trip took him from the south to the north — and along the way, he took both video and still images using his regular camera and a GoPro camera.
“While the still image has its limits, video can bring in more elements that will help in the comprehension (of what it’s like to live under occupation),” Gerbehaye said.
The result is a multimedia documentary that charts the trip on an interactive map and allows viewers to toggle between different locations. Along the way, they can listen to interviews with both Israelis and Palestinians, who offer their differing points of view on their lives after the Oslo accords.
In creating an interactive documentary, Gerbehaye’s goal is for viewers to immerse themselves more deeply into trying to understand the impact of what has been a deeply complicated conflict on the lives of average civilians in the region.
Cedric Gerbehaye is a member of Agence Vu.