JR Yalla Israel and Palestine
I have worked with French artist JR many times over the years. For his film Inside Out, directed by Alastair Siddons, I was a camera operator on the Israel and Palestine unit that documented the Time is Now, Yalla! project.
Yalla was an art project that happened in Israel and Palestine. JR and his team set up giant photobooths, which ran in September 2011, turning out about 1,000 photos each day. Palestinians and Israelis were invited to visit and, in exchange for a personal statement, received a large-format portrait they could paste wherever they wished – either on their own or as part of a group. In addition, independent teams of photographers and pasters were there to paste, and engage new participants.
The Yalla project forms part of a fascinating documentary that tracks the evolution of the biggest participatory art project in the world, the wildly popular ‘INSIDE OUT’. The film travels the globe with French artist JR as he motivates entire communities to define their most important causes with incredibly passionate displays of giant black and white portraits pasted in the street. We witness young and old taking ownership of walls that were previously restricted and in doing so testing the limits of what they thought was possible. In capturing the process, Alastair Siddons creates a glowing testament to the power of image and the role that art can play in transforming communities.