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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.”


Bill Biggart 1947-2001 April 11, 2008

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Gaza, Israel.
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Gaza City, 1994

10:28:24 a.m. on September 11th, 2001 was the precise second that photojournalist Bill Biggart took the final shot of his life. He took his last breath moments later when the North Tower of the World Trade Center collapsed upon him. Four days later, searchers found his body, his burnt-edged press cards, his three demolished cameras, six rolls of film, and one small undisturbed compact flash card carrying almost 150 digital images. It was the remains of one horrifying day and one extraordinary life.

As a spot news photographer, Bill Biggart chose to cover stories that most interested him, not the ones an editor selected. He focused on presenting the minority side – the Palestinians in the Middle East, the Catholic/IRA “troubles” in Ireland, and the issues of natives, blacks and gays in America.

About the Photograph:

The Palestinian Intafadah uprising in early 1988 consumed Bill. He would return regularly to Israel and Palestine for nearly ten years, sensing it was an immense and important story. While covering the plight of the Palestinian people, he was arrested by Israeli police and beaten for “being in the wrong place at the wrong time.”

Editors note. I’ve chosen Bill Biggart’s work today to honor him and note the opening of the Newseum in Washington DC. Bill’s photographs from September 11th are part of a permanent exhibition there. The Newseum offers visitors an experience that blends five centuries of news history with up-to-the-second technology and hands-on exhibits.