Like a tightrope walker, with grace and goodwill, the Italian photographer Federico Busonero paces the world with a light step. But it was with the necessary gravity that he turned his gaze towards a land that moved him deeply, and to which a book of rare quality pays homage: Palestine. The assignment with which he had been entrusted by UNESCO, and to which he devoted 2008-2009, it shows the historic, artistic, and religious,heritage and the infinite natural beauty of this land that remains, despite the successive colonisations and conflicts.
The land that remains, it is also what is left, after the silence and the abandonment spread over it. A present-day archaeology of sites preserved by their history, protected by the respect and care of their inhabitants. Desert landscapes, magnified by their apparent serenity, where animals and people live timelessly: the book opens with a man, waiting, and closes with an ageless woman, upon whom centuries seem to have passed. Between these two single human faces, remains the Land, its insolent beauty, the affirmation of its eternity, in the true meaning of the word: with neither beginning nor end – notwithstanding industrial transplants, anachronistic intrusions, separations, like open scars.
This was what Federico Busonero knew how to show perfectly; his approach, non-militant at the outset, does justice to the Palestinian cause, far removed from spectacular news pictures.
Eve Zheim is a journalist specialising in photography and based in Paris.