Lejla Hodžić

Curator and designer

My Home

WARM Festival 2024

“MY HOME”, a multimedia exhibition by Samar Abu Elouf, a Palestinian photojournalist reporting from Gaza for The New York Times, curated by Laura Boushnak and Lejla Hodžić, video by Džemil Hodžić, in collaboration with the Academy of Fine Arts, Academy of Fine Arts Sarajevo, Wednesday July 10, 18:00h.


60 days without a glance at my hair

60 days of not once sleeping flat on my back

I slept quasi-seated in the car

but I was happy that I could fall asleep

stealing hours of sleep amid the sounds of bombardment

the car turned to a mobile home

in it was my bed, treatment, food, and sleep

I always talked to myself

trying to test my psychological and physical capabilities and powers of endurance

and to see evidence of any moment’s event that could end all warring

I literally forgot how I looked

when I could steal minutes for a shower my hair would fall in my hands

I told myself when the war ends I will have become bald

and when discarding my fallen hair I felt sad

I told myself my hair needed to breathe so it must fall

In the garbage bin I found hair like mine

I get that all women shed hair while showering

I also get that they spend all their day in their prayer robe which shields them and hides their pain in their places of homelessness and displacement

their feet sometimes doing endless walking when they’re slaughtered, with their skin torn but the image was more painful than all my suffering

I wore sandals with socks to soften the pain of boots or shoes, and didn’t care what others around me thought

I knew what I was doing

and I’m proud being able to deliver the message in the midst of all this destruction and death

but I never imagined that God would test my patience with a migration I never want

This test is the toughest

it broke my back in half

and broke my heart and soul to pieces

and did to me what the war failed to in 60 days

may God grant us serene patience

God is the only one whose help can be sought


Samar Abu Elouf Facebook post on December 13, 2023

Samar Abu Elouf is an award-winning Palestinian freelance photojournalist. She covers events where she lives, focusing on stories about gender, women’s and children’s lives, and the consequences of war. Since 2010, she has worked as a freelance photojournalist on assignment for Reuters, The New York Times, and other news outlets

Samar is the 10th annual recipient of the Anja Niedringhaus Courage in Photojournalism Award.

“The camera has made me a strong woman, and I will continue working and taking photos until my last breath”, said Abu Elouf.

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