I have spent more than 10 months in the West Bank, Palestine, over the last few years. These photos are part of a project about stories that fall in the shadows of violence and politics.

The occupation of Palestine has a psychology, and it stirs up the emotions of everyone involved: It creates a sense of hopelessness and it brings out the best and the worst in people. Every attempt to oppose it only seems to make it worse. It’s there every day. It creates agony and a life-lasting panic seizure. Despite the occupation, and the stories that actually reach the news, daily life goes on in a fascinating and unpredictable way.

Eventually this project is not only about Palestine. Making stories about the occupation is impossible without portraying Israel from a West Bank Palestinian perspective.

I want to communicate the occupation’s impact on daily life. To understand this is crucial to be able to understand Palestine. And I think it is impossible to make any sense out of this conflict without understanding the people and the communities that are mentally and physically affected.

Palestine is one of those two communities.

The photos are taken between August 2009 and July 2011.

— Lars Håberg