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Mafalda Rakoš May 5, 2014

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Israel, Palestine.
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Leen and her niece Valentina. Bethlehem 2012

Mafalda Rakoš (b. 1994, Austria) attended the Vienna Institute of Graphic Design and Audiovisual Media. Her work has been published in various magazines and was shown in various international festivals, as well as in Vienna. In 2013, she and her two colleagues were awarded the Jugendinnovativ-Prize for their collective book project “3rd Generation” about Arab and Israeli youth. Mafalda was awarded the Prix Revelation SAIF during Festival Voices Off at Rencontres d’Arles for her series Il y a des jours sombres. She is currently studying Anthropology at Vienna University while pursuing her own photographic projects.

About the Photograph:

“This picture was taken in the course of the project Third Generation, a collective documentary book project, realized by me, another photographer and a graphic designer. It deals with the individual realities of young Palestinians and Israelis the same age as me. The photo was taken in Bethlehem where I was hosted by Leen’s family. She always told me that she had no interest in letting the conflict disturb her- that her main goal was to be happy and to enjoy every moment of her life. We gathered at her sister’s place to make Pizza together. In this peaceful and untroubled atmosphere, we went out on the balcony. The wall that divides the Palestinian Territories from Israel was ten only meters away. Leen and Valentina kissed through the glass – a cynical metaphor for these moments of happiness that take place in an isolated setting.”

Scout Tufankjian June 3, 2013

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Gaza, Israel.
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Gaza City 2005

Scout Tufankjian (b.1977, United States) has spent the bulk of her career working in the Middle East, including four years working in the Gaza Strip. Her book on the 2007-2008 Obama campaign, Yes We Can: Barack Obama’s History-Making Presidential Campaign was a New York Times and LA Times bestseller, selling out its first run of 55,000 copies a month before its release date. More recently, she has documented the aftermath of the Haitian Earthquake, and has been working in Brazil, Ethiopia and Turkey on a project documenting the Armenian diaspora. In February 2011 she covered the Egyptian Revolution covering the aftermath of the revolution, particularly its effects on the ultra-religious Salafi community. In the summer of 2012, she returned to the campaign trail as a photographer for President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign.  She speaks conversational Arabic and is based in Brooklyn, NY.

About the Photograph:

“This picture was taken at an old amusement park just north of Gaza City in March of 2005.  The young women were law school students on a field trip to the park for some relaxation.  In the four years I spent traveling back and forth between New York and the Gaza Strip, I tried to spend as much of my time as I could focusing on the normal parts of life in Gaza – the amusement parks, the family trips to the beach, the hip hop concerts, and the lavish weddings.  The Middle East, and especially Gaza, is too often ‘othered’ and exorcised, when it is largely made up of men, women, and children who want the same things out of life that everyone else does – a job, a roof over their heads, food on the table, school for the kids, a doctor when they are sick, and the occasional trip to the beach or the amusement park.  As a photojournalist, I think it is as, if not more, important for me to show what people have in common rather than to just highlight the differences.”

Alessandro Gandolfi January 9, 2013

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Gaza, Israel, Palestine.
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Khan Yunes, Gaza Strip, 2011

Alessandro Gandolfi (b.1970, Italy) is co-founder of Parallelozero Photo Agency (Milan) and his works have appeared in several Italian, as well as international  magazines including: National Geographic Italia, L’Espresso, Die Zeit, Mare, The Sunday Times Magazine and Le Monde. His photoraphs have been exhibited in the latest four shows organized in Rome by National Geographic. A philosophy graduate, Alessandro attended the IFG– School of Journalism in Urbino. Before working as a photojournalist, he contributed as a news reporter for La Repubblica, both in Milan and Rome. He won National Geographic’s “Best Edit Award” twice (in 2010 and 2011) with two reportages published in the Italian edition of the American magazine.

About the Photograph:

“Mohammed Al Jakhbeer is 23 and lives in Khan Yunes, in the Gaza Strip. Mohammed and his friend Abdallah Enshasi are both children of refugees; they do occasional jobs and are among only a few who practice parkour in Gaza. When I found out, I tried to contact them and arranged to meet at Abdallah’s house. While his mother offered us a cup of tea, they explained to me that parkour is fun and makes them feel free, as well as being good exercise. They also told me, however, that old people in Khan Yunes do not always appreciate this strange sport and that many women are scared when they see them jump from one window to the next. ‘Let’s go, follow us, we’ll take you to our new training ground’, Mohammed told me while taking his rucksack. We walked together to the village suburbs. We arrived at a fence beyond which I could see the large cemetery of Khan Yunes. ‘Every day we train here”’said Abdallah while starting to wrap his hands with cotton bandages. I followed them to the cemetery to watch them, and the jumps were truly spectacular. They climbed two metre high walls and ran above them keeping their balance without safety nets or mattresses. They jumped while doing twirls and somersaults. ‘Here among graves and tombs we have found our true gym’ said Mohammed, and our friends often come here to watch what we do or to try and learn. Are we disrespectful because we do it in a cemetery? No, I don’t think so. Nobody has felt offended until now…”

Yaakov Israel December 6, 2012

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Israel.
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Zohar with Pied Kingfisher, Israel 2010

Yaakov Israel (b. 1974, Israel) graduated with honors from the Department of Photography at the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design, Jerusalem (2002). His photographs have been exhibited in Israel and abroad at the Margaret Street Gallery, London (2012) and OSLO 8 Gallery, Basel (2011). Yaakov’s work has been published in TIME LightBox (US), PDN Magazine (US), OjodePez Magazine (Spain), among others. He was selected Winner of the PHotoEspaña Descubrimientos PHE12 Award (2012) and as one of the three winners of the Conscientious portfolio competition (2011). His first Monograph: The Quest for the Man on the White Donkey was recently published by Schilt Publishing in Amsterdam.

About the Photograph:

“Zohar with Pied Kingfisher was photographed one morning very early when I went bird watching with my mother Gerda and my son Emanuel. It was a good morning in bird watching standards, as there were many birds caught in the nets to be ringed and registered. There were a few rare catches, these are usually photographed just before being released; held at arms length with one hand and photographed with the other. I have always been fascinated by the way birdwatchers do this, the physical act and the act of collecting what they were lucky to encounter. The reason I included this image is that I find that it can tell many stories, or maybe I should say possibilities of stories, and there is an undercurrent feeling of violence combined with a deep beauty.”

“This image is part of a project that I have been working on for ten years titled The Quest for the Man on the White Donkey. I was trying to use photography to investigate ideas of identity (my own verses my nation), the ideas of a journey through a land combined with the photographic journey, reality verses religious myths and different ways of storytelling. I was driving through Israel, building the story as it presented itself to me in the people and places I encountered. Collecting images that reflected these encounters and acted as metaphors for a larger story.”

Giuliano Camarda June 27, 2012

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Israel, Palestine.
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Bedouin village in East Jerusalem 2011

Giuliano Camarda (b. 1978, Italy) is a freelance documentary photographer focusing on Palestinian-Israeli issues. He spent one year in Bosnia and Herzegovina, working on several projects related to the consequences of war in the Balkans. Giuliano also cover news and collaborates with humanitarian NGO’s as a photographer and photography teacher. He has been selected for the Manuel Rivera Ortiz Grant in 2011. His works have been published on National Geographic Italia, La Repubblica, Zoom Magazine, Witness Journal, among others.

About the Photograph:

“This picture was taken in the Bedouin village of Wadi Abu Hindi, one of the most difficult communities in the area of East Jerusalem. The village is nestled in the desert, between the biggest rubbish dump of Jerusalem (Abu Dis), a military area used by Israeli army for training, and the illegal settlement of Qedar. People of this area live in miserable shacks, without electricity or running water, grazing their sheep between debris, being subject to demolition and attacks by settlers. Despite this, the communities have shown determination and unbelievable resilience that led the Israeli military authorities to draw up a relocation plan last October. Ignoring the aspirations, needs, traditions and the system of relations inherent in the Bedouin culture, the plan provides the deportation and a forced establishment of the Jahalin tribe a  few meters far from the rubbish dump.”

Ahikam Seri June 7, 2012

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Israel.
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Eritrean Church, Tel Aviv 2011, from the series ‘Seek Asylum’

Ahikam Seri (b. 1972, Israel) took up photography when his friend introduced him to a makeshift darkroom at his parent’s warehouse. Between 1995 and 1998 he studied photography in Jerusalem. Ahikam has covered news stories in Israel and the Palestinian territories. His in-depth reportage on unrecognized Bedouin villages in Israel received an IFDP grant from Fifty Crows and an All Roads award from National Geographic. A report on hard-line Jewish settlers in the West Bank was exhibited at Visa Pour L’image. Other projects have received awards from Nikon and PDN and have been exhibited at the Reportage Photo Festival, and featured in group projects such as This Day of Change by Courrier Japan, and Nazar: Act of Faith by Noorderlicht. He is represented by Panos Pictures.

About the Photograph:

“On the first morning of 2011, Eritreans pray in southern Tel Aviv. Their makeshift church is a former brothel. Since 2007, this neglected part of the city had become home for asylum-seekers who have been illegally arriving in Israel, mainly from Eritrea, Sudan, Ivory Coast, Ghana and beyond. Risking mortal danger to cross the armed Israel-Egypt border, they are smuggled by local Bedouins. They brave possible gunfire from Egyptian border guards crossing into Israel in search of a better future. This has sparked an internal debate over Israel’s moral obligation to provide shelter for such refugees. Until Israeli authorities come up with an official policy, the African asylum-seeker’s presence in Israel remains tenuous and their future uncertain.”

Katie Orlinsky October 6, 2011

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Israel.
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Shoshanna and her children at home in Mea Sharim, Jerusalem. 2010

Katie Orlinsky (b.1983, USA) received a B.A. in Political Science/Latin American Studies from Colorado College in 2005. Her interest in international politics and a desire to raise awareness on social and humanitarian issues led her to photojournalism. Katie is a regular contributor to The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and various non-profit organizations. Her work has been published in Life, Newsweek, Le Monde, Stern, Time, Adbusters and the International Herald Tribune among others. Katie is the 2011 POYI Emerging Vision recipient and was awarded the Le prix ANI – Pix Palace in 2010. She is currently a fellow at the Stabile Center for Investigative Journalism at Columbia University.

About the Photograph:

“In April 2010 I began a project in Mea Sharim, an ultra-Orthodox neighborhood in Jerusalem that is notoriously closed off and anti-Zionist. I was interested in exploring the problems going on at the time between mainstream Israeli society and the Hasidim. The project never panned out because I received an assignment in Gaza for the following week. Knowing I wouldn’t have the time to complete a full story, I decided to wander around Jerusalem and just have fun with street photography. I still went to Mea Sharim almost every day however- changing into a black skirt, black shoes, tights, and carrying my camera in a small purse before entering the extremely religious neighborhood. I did so to blend in with the local Jewish women in the area. I can’t imagine being able to photograph there any other way. The tension in Jerusalem is palpable everywhere you go; rules, social norms and identity politics often dictate who you speak to and what you see. This photo, and the larger series “Jerusalem Journal”, is a view of the city that both addresses these constraints and actively ignores them. It is a letter to Jerusalem from a newcomer and outsider, open to exploring a place and it’s people.”

(more…)

Aaron Vincent Elkaim May 2, 2011

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Israel.
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West Bank Checkpoint, Bethlehem, Israel 2007

Aaron Vincent Elkaim (b. 1981, Canada) is a freelance photographer based in Toronto, Canada. He has a degree in Cultural Anthropology and a diploma in Photojournalism and focuses his documentary work on exploring cultural issues in the modern world. His first long-term project is rooted in his own family history and explores the remnants of a once large Jewish community in Morocco. His work has been acknowledged internationally, garnering awards and recognition at the New York Photo Festival, American Photography 26, ONWARD 11, PX3 2010, PDN Photo Annual, the News Photographers Association of Canada and the Ontario Arts Council. He is an Eddie Adams Alumni and was recognized as an Emerging Photographer in 2008 by Photolife Magazine. Aaron is also a co-founder and member of the Boreal Collective.

About the Photograph:

“This image was taken at the West Bank checkpoint of Bethlehem. It is one of many checkpoints where hundreds of Palestinians line up daily to cross into Israel and Jerusalem for work. This image was part of a project of discovery early in my career. I sent three months traveling throughout Israel and Palestine attempting to gain some understanding of the situation there, photographing as I went. I had no story or angle in mind, I simply wished to see what was happening, how people were living, and gain a sense of the place that holds the minds and faiths of the world.  To me this image represents the daily life of the Palestinian people, its quiet and alludes to a sense of normalcy in an abnormal situation.  While the peace sign signifies hope, the routine of the repression makes this image hopeless, a feeling I was left with after this trip.”

Adam Hinton April 18, 2011

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Israel.
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Gaza City, Israel 2010

Adam Hinton (b. 1965, England) began his photographic career at the age of 12 when his father bought him an SLR camera. Studying photojournalism in the 80’s enabled him to articulate his feelings, beliefs and values into a visual medium that he could communicate to others. After leaving college Adam returned to London shooting for newspapers and magazines such as The Independent magazine, The Daily and Sunday Telegraph and The Observer. From the mid 1990’s Adam has worked within the advertising sector on Charity, Public Service and corporate campaign’s. Throughout his career he has produced personally funded projects and is currently working on a long term project on the growth of urban slum’s in developing countries. He has been awarded numerous awards and exhibited internationally.

About the Photograph:

“Since the Israeli assault on Gaza in January 2010 I decided that I needed to return there to record the effects of the ongoing attrition that the people of Gaza have been enduring. I tried crossing from Egypt a month later but with no luck.  Then in October, The Hoping Foundation asked me to go there to document a school project they had been working on with the UNRWA.  What greeted me was shocking, the place was devastated and was economically shut down. This image was taken in the family home of Jamil Mohamad Tulba and Mona Al Ashwah. There are 11 family members. The house is 60 years old and was built by UNRWA in 1950, two years after the Arab-Israeli war in 1948.  The house consists of two rooms which both suffer from damp and the only income they receive is from UNRWA.  These are the conditions of many in Gaza.”

Shaul Schwarz January 24, 2011

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Israel.
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“Gush Katif” a Jewish enclave in the Gaza Strip, 2005

Shaul Schwarz (b.1974, Israel) began his photographic career in the Israeli air force. After finishing his service he began to cover news in Israel and in the West Bank before relocating to New York in 1999. His work has regularly appeared in Newsweek, Time, The New York Times Sunday Magazine, Marie Clair, Geo, Men’s Journal, Paris Match, Stern, among others. His coverage of the conflict in Haiti in 2004 granted him two World Press Photo Awards. In 2006 Schwarz won the highly acclaimed Visa D’or in Perpignan for his work on Uprooting Settlers from the Gaza strip. He has recently covered the aftermath of the Kenyan elections for Newsweek and worked with CNN’s Christiana Amanpour on her new film to be released at the end of the year. He has recently started teaching workshops at the International Center of Photography in New York. Shaul is represented by Getty Images.

About the Photograph:

“This photo was taken as part of a project following Jewish settlers throughout the 2005 Gaza disengagement when 9,000 Jewish settlers were uprooted from their houses and the lands were finally given back to the Palestinians in August 2005.  Covering the story I decide to live with the settlers through the last three months of their existence. For the most part the settlers went on a campaign of denial and in order not to cooperate with the state of Israel they decided to simply continue on with their life: even continuing to plant their fields. In the picture we see a group of Hassidic Jews who were visiting the beach enjoying a moment of tranquility. I think this picture shows some of what my project was about, capturing life before the storm of the pull out.”

Natan Dvir June 14, 2010

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Israel.
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Aseel, Um El-Fahem 2009

Natan Dvir (b. 1972, Israel) received his MBA at Tel Aviv University and MFA from the School of Visual Arts, NY. His work has been published in Newsweek, Glamour, Le Monde, Stern, Focus, Die Zeit, among others. Natan is a winner of the PDN Annual, American Photograph and B&W Spider Awards. He is represented by Polaris Images. Natan recently won the New York Photo Festival Award in the Social Documentary Essay category for his work “Eighteen” sponsored by the Other Israel film festival about the Arab population of Israel. It’s on exhibit this month at Visual Arts Gallery in NYC.

About the Photograph:

“Mixed emotions filled me as I entered Um Al Fahem to meet Aseel: a Jewish man in an Arab city considered by most Jewish Israelis as violent. I was a tourist in my own country. Amazing hospitality and openness soon chased away any fears, replacing them with curiosity and interest. Although I lived in Israel and photographed it most of my life I felt I did not really know or understand its large Arab minority (over 20% of the country’s population) born into an identity crisis. Most individuals I approached expressed great skepticism about my project- “Why would a Jewish person be interested in investigating an Arab person’s life?” The initial tension waned down in most cases leading to interesting interaction.”

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Gillian Laub May 7, 2010

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Israel.
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Madeline and her brother. Israel, 2005

Gillian Laub (b.1975,USA) graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in comparative literature before studying photography at the ICP.  She was selected for the World Press Photo’s Joop Swart Masterclass in 2003 and as the winner of Nikon’s Storyteller Award for her work in the Middle East.  With the support of the Jerome Foundation, Laub’s first monograph Testimony was published by Aperture in 2007 to critical acclaim.  In 2007 Laub was awarded Aperture’s Emerging Artist. She contributes regularly to The New York Times Magazine among many other publications and commissions.  Her work is widely exhibited and collected. She lives in New York and is represented by Bonni Benrubi Gallery and is currently working on a project in the American South.

About the Photograph:

“This photo is from my five year project called Testimony that examines the inhabitants of Jerusalem, Haifa and other locations in the region. My subjects include Israeli Jews. Israeli Arabs, displaced Lebanese and Palestinians- all affected by the geopolitical context. Each image is accompanied by an oral history.”

Madelaine: “I am eighteen years old, and live at home with my mother, father, and five siblings. I love Akko because it is on the water and a mix of many different people live here; Arabs and Jews live together in peace and brotherhood. Maybe the sea helps people feel more calm and peaceful. My two best friends are Jewish and they treat me like a sister, not an enemy. They are going to the army next year. I will do my civil service (Muslims can’t serve in the Israeli army) in a children’s day care. I love children, and I love listening to romantic and classical music. I hate the war in Israel and I would like to live in peace in the future. I believe it’s possible.”

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Yoav Horesh May 27, 2009

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Israel.
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Market, Jerusalem 2003, Scene of Suicide Bombing 4/2002

Yoav Horesh (b.1975, Israel) received his BFA from the Massachusetts College of Art and an MFA from Columbia University. He has exhibited in Israel, Europe and the USA. Solo and group exhibitions include the Palazzo Reale di Milano, Projekt RaumBahnhof 25 in Germany, Jerusalem National Theater, Nathan Bernstein Gallery (NYC), Stone Crop Gallery and the Photographic Resource Center in Boston. He has been the recipient of the Mortimer Frank Travel Award, the Agnes Martin and M. Roche scholarships, the Rhode Island Photographic Society and the Agora Gallery International Competition award. Yoav is currently on the photography faculty at the Massachusetts College of Art, Queens College and Columbia University.

About the Photograph:

“Between 2002 and 2005 I worked on “Aftermath”. In this series of photographs, I explored the sites of recent terrorist attacks in Israel after they had been hastily repaired and the destruction had been erased not only from the landscape, but from the collective memory. Instead of being perceived and experienced as a narrative or as an historical moment, the photographs are read as a disruption of time and space, or trauma. The very absence of devastation in these places draws attention to the attempt to erase the trauma and thereby gives the situation a presence that resists and confronts the desire not to see and not to remember. I strive to provide the viewer an alternative gaze at otherwise mundane or ordinary places, at a remaining landscape.  This body of work includes over one hundred different sites where a history of violence has been removed.”

Rachel Papo June 2, 2008

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Israel.
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Officer Natali.Tsaelim Training Camp, Israel. 2005

Rachel Papo is an Israeli who was born in 1970 in Columbus, Ohio but was raised in Israel. She began photographing as a teenager and attended a renowned fine-arts high-school in Haifa, Israel. At age eighteen she served in the Israeli Air Force as a photographer. These two intensive years of service inspired her current photographic book project titled after her own number during service – Serial No. 3817131. Rachel earned a BFA in Fine Arts from Ohio State University in Columbus (1991-96), and an MFA in Photography from the School of Visual Arts in New York City (2002-05). She began photographing Israeli female soldiers in the summer of 2004 as part of her masters thesis project. She continues to photograph in both Israel and New York, pursuing fine art photography and accepting commissioned projects. Her photographs are included in several public and private collections. She currently resides in Brooklyn, New York.

About the Photograph:

“The photographs in this project serve as a bridge between past and present—a combination of my own recollections and the experiences of the girls who I observed. Each image embodies traces of things that I recognize, illuminating fragments of my history, striking emotional cords that resonate within me. In some way, each is a self-portrait, depicting a young woman caught in transient moments of introspection and uncertainty, trying to make sense of a challenging daily routine. In striving to maintain her gentleness and femininity, the soldier seems to be questioning her own identity, embracing the fact that two years of her youth will be spent in a wistful compromise.”

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