Started 4 years ago, Kana-Tel Aviv-Nazareth is an ongoing project, where I have been following the lives of four young women. They are Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel, a portion of society which is usually either ignored or observed with hostility, even though they are the fifth part of Israelis population.
Those young women are representing a bigger phenomenon risen in recent years, where Arab young women, both Christians and Muslims, religious and non-religious, are leaving their home to move in Tel Aviv. Although they conserving proudly their Palestinians identity, they decided to leave the protection of family and a more conservative society for the dense and fairly modern, Jewish city of Tel Aviv. Here they study and live in my neighbourhood, Ramat Aviv, where the University of Tel Aviv is (built on the remains of a Palestinian village, Sheikh Munis, that was evacuated in the 1948’s war).
Even though there is a sense of freedom in this neighbourhood, to be an Arab minority in a Jewish city it is not always easy. Their identity as Arabs is in the foreground of every daily encounter, and their own nationality identification, as Palestinians, it is something not regularly accepted by most Israelis and right-wing side.
Those women make up each another’s support system, theirs is a world in-between honouring the past and the positive tension towards the future, they are on a journey to figure out who they are and who they can become. What does it mean to identify somebody as belonging to a specific community, ethnicity, or culture? As a resident of the neighbourhood Ramat Aviv, and as a photographer working on long-term projects with women, I observed this new phenomenon with curiosity and fascination.