Skip to main content


Make a wish Loulou d’Aki

“This is just a dream,but fortunately dreams do come true”
Cyrus P. 15 anni, Tehran, Iran

It’s a rainy November morning in Gaza and a truce has just been announced after 8 days of fighting. A young man stands in the rubbles of what is left of his home, destroyed in an air strike just an hour before the war ended. Behind him, a framed picture still hangs crooked on the wall. The boy’s name is Ahmed, he is 18 years old and the son of a fisherman. He wants to live in peace and go to college but we are in the Gaza strip and dreams have their limits here, you often have the feeling of being caught up in a game where you always turn out the loser.

On the other side, few kilometers and a wall away, is Jeru-salem, the city many Gazawis dream of visiting but who most never will. This is a land of contradictions, a land of walls, a land of visible and invisible borders. From Omri’s Art school you can see the separation wall on a clear day. Omri, who got freed from the obligatory Israeli military service by pretending he was gay during the medical examinations, says that he dreams of feeling at home someplace someday, away from the religious and political tensions he has grown up with.

“Make a Wish” is a photo essay looking at the hopes and dreams of youth, aiming to create a testimony of our time. It’s inspired by the fact that youth should be the age of infinite possibilities. Most of the project has been shot in the Middle East and in situations linked to the Arab Spring revolution or in conflict zones where young people too often are de- prived of their right to be young. The Arab Spring catapulted a taste of freedom in people across a region so long affected by dictators, Western foreign policies gone awry and poor social development. Spring turned to summer, fall and win- ter, months turned to years and the original revolution into something much different from the ideals of freedom shouted at squares across the region.

When I set out to work on this project, I did so with the assum- ption that youth is an age of hope when aspiration is not yet conditioned by experience. As the work evolved I began to understand to which extent aspirations are conditioned by the society in which we live and the circumstances under which we grow up and how important it is to keep on aspiring.

The original dummy “Make A Wish” by Loulou d’Aki was the winner of the Photobook Dummy Review and Prize at COTM17, selected by Hannah Watson of Trolley Books among 44 dummies received in the open call. It has been produced as an exhibition for this edition and as a book titled “They call us dreamers but we’re the ones who don’t sleep” published by OTM Company.


Make a wish by Loulou d’Aki

Number of photo

18 prints


18 color prints mounted on forex (framed)


See technical rider

Frame size

See technical rider

Set Up

Text material must be printed at the expense of the hosting organization. We provide introduction text, biography and captions both in italian and english.

Linear development

15 linear mt minimum (spaces not included)

Download the datasheet