Camping Jenin

Joanna Rajkowska

  • type of object: video
  • date: 2008
  • material/technique: video
  • dimensions: 34'2"
  • inventory No.: V-35
  • image licensed under: CC BY-NC-ND 3.0

Joanna Rajkowska’s film documents a workshop held in a refugee camp in Jenin, West Bank, in April 2008. It was held in the Freedom Theatre, founded in 2004 by European activists inspired by the city’s former Stone Theatre. Among the performers were six boys known as the Bad Boys because of their notorious reputation. Many of their close relatives had died during the Second Intifada against the Israeli authorities, and most of the boys showed symptoms of PTSD. Rajkowska asked them to express their experiences through gestures rather than words, as trauma disrupts the structure of language, leading to speech resistance or silence. However, as the artist noted: ‘Fear, pain, invasion, tank, need, loss, wound were all too real, too close. We had to create a narrative to create distance from reality, to allow it to be seen, told and even laughed at. Any attempt to approach the painful memory directly, with the body, provoked aggression or turned into farce. Only the force of illusion and the dream of fiction worked.’ The film does not merely record activities in the theatre that revealed the extent of unresolved trauma. It tells the story of young people struggling with past experiences, their aggression and sadness.


Artwork aquired thanks to the support of The ING Polish Art Foundation

Other works by artist in the Zachęta collection

  • Zdjęcie pracy Gold and Silver
    Gold and SilverJoanna Rajkowska2008
  • Zdjęcie pracy The Love of a Man Named Dog
    The Love of a Man Named DogJoanna Rajkowska1998
  • Zdjęcie pracy z serii Karty z „Czterech ksiąg o Architekturze” A. Palladio, I
    z serii Karty z „Czterech ksiąg o Architekturze” A. Palladio, IJoanna Rajkowska1992
  • Zdjęcie pracy z serii Karty z „Czterech ksiąg o Architekturze” A. Palladio, II
    z serii Karty z „Czterech ksiąg o Architekturze” A. Palladio, IIJoanna Rajkowska1998
  • Zdjęcie pracy z serii Karty z „Czterech ksiąg o Architekturze” A. Palladio, III
    z serii Karty z „Czterech ksiąg o Architekturze” A. Palladio, IIIJoanna Rajkowska1992
  • Zdjęcie pracy z serii Karty z „Czterech ksiąg o Architekturze” A. Palladio, IV
    z serii Karty z „Czterech ksiąg o Architekturze” A. Palladio, IVJoanna Rajkowska1992
  • Zdjęcie pracy z serii Karty z „Czterech ksiąg o Architekturze” A. Palladio, V
    z serii Karty z „Czterech ksiąg o Architekturze” A. Palladio, VJoanna Rajkowska1992
  • Zdjęcie pracy z serii Karty z „Czterech ksiąg o Architekturze” A. Palladio, VI
    z serii Karty z „Czterech ksiąg o Architekturze” A. Palladio, VIJoanna Rajkowska1992
  • Zdjęcie pracy z serii Karty z „Czterech ksiąg o Architekturze” A. Palladio, VII
    z serii Karty z „Czterech ksiąg o Architekturze” A. Palladio, VIIJoanna Rajkowska1992

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