2012 - Ongoing
Photographed over seven years, My Home in Shikun-Ella is a documentary project about a place that has provided the backdrop for my youth, about a rural neighborhood in Kiryat Tivon, in the north of Israel. This is my first association with home, family, love and solitude. It is a testimony to a different way of life, which endures and still exists. It is not a project about the political conflict, Jerusalem or Gaza, but an insight into a different version of Israel, about what happens outside this bubble. Captured in color photographs, this story is about how this land transmits calmness and peace.
Once a week, and sometimes more often, we traveled to the hills. By foot or on the back of a donkey, we climbed, as the view of the Jezreel Valley spread before our eyes. The best time was just before the sun disappeared behind the Carmel mountain, as the last rays of light painted the fields in golden tones. We sat there for hours, 20 kilometers from Nazareth and a short ride distance from the Mediterranean Sea, surrounded by green spiky sabras, played music, drank Turkish coffee, watched the wind blow clouds away and stars revealing the night sky, while breathing the sweet air of our childhood's landscape.
I remember the path I took to school which led me through the valley and under the great oaks, where I fell in love and searched for silence. Over the years, I bore witness to time as people got older, trees gave way to saplings and my friends moved on from toys to beers. But, as the effects of nature resonate in us, the footprints of man started to impress in the landscape. Highways are passing by stables and cowsheds, new neighborhoods spring up like mushrooms after rain and the sound of planes taking off from the near army base mixes with the birdsong. The lack of opportunities in the periphery, modern urbanization and decline in local people working in agriculture, are putting this lifestyle and nature at risk.