Shadows Of Alleys: My Name Is Leila. I Am 17 Years Old
About the bookletThis booklet is one of a serie of 3 booklets enclosing a collection of 180 photos, captured by young Palestinian girls and boys in Burj Chemali Camp, South Lebanon. Through using the ‘Pinhole Camera’ technique, these girls and boys captured some challenging sides of the lives of Palestinian youth through aspects of discrimination, violence and gender-based violence affecting their communities. Throughout these photos, the 3 booklets tell 3 personal stories narrated by the participants that implicate deep personal sufferings caused by community-imposed norms, traditions and social exclusion. Aspects of marginalization, affliction, and constraints inside the Palestinian camps are reflected in the stories, mirroring what Palestinian youth have captured through their pinhole cameras and through their perception of social challenges in their society.
The stories in this booklet are fictional narratives developed by participants and the names mentioned in the stories do not reflect any real life person.
The story of Leila, a 17 year old girl who attempts to commit suicide after realising she is pregnant, reveals often untold realities facing young women in many parts of the world. The story touches on issues that are often seen as taboo and forbidden and which, for that reason, undermines the rights, needs and protection of women and girls in society. Leila’s story demonstrate how society shapes the ways in which women and girls are expected to behave according to “traditional” roles and in manners “approved” by society. For Leila, the consequence is a young girl who is ostracized by her family and her community and subjected to gender-based violence.