My Home in Shikun Ella

Daniel Rolider

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.

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  • Arik (r.) and Uriya, in Arik's land in Bat Shlomo, Israel, August 2018. Arik bought this land 5 years ago and he plan to move there, as soon as he get the construction approval from the state.

  • Rami rides his horse in the fields of Kiryat Tivon, Israel, November 2014.

  • Zaid's Hills, Kiryat Tivon, Israel, November 2017.

  • Tommy, a family friend, in his backyard, when his brother, Uri, makes a bonfire, Kiryat Tivon, Israel, May 2016. Tommy's family live 15 minutes' walk through the fields from our home in Shikun Ella neighborhood.

  • Uriya (l.) and his friend Erez, travels in the fields of Kiryat Tivon at sunset, Israel, May 2016.

  • Arik and Irit outside our house in Shikun Ella neighborhood in Kiryat Tivon, Israel, October 2016.

  • Arik and our turkey in our backyard, Kiryat Tivon, Israel, June 2016.

  • Uriya (r.) and his friend Uriel, in the fields of Kiryat Tivon, Israel, June 2015.

  • Uriya and our donkey, during a daily trip the Zaid's Hills, Kiryat Tivon, Israel, May 2016.

  • Amit, my brother, in our backyard, Kiryat Tivon, Israel, October 2016.

  • Kerem, a family friend, climbs on our house's rooftop in Shikun Ella neighborhood, Kiryat Tivon, Israel, October 2016.

  • Shiri, in our warehouse in our backyard, Kiryat Tivon, Israel, March 2016.

  • Uriya, 15 years old, smokes Hookah in the backyard of our home in Shikun-Ella neighbourhood in Kiryat Tivon, Israel, December 2019.

  • Amit (c.) and his friend Omer, walking our donkey uphill to Zaid's Hills, Kiryat Tivon, Israel, October 2016.

  • Irit, my mother, in the fields next to our home, Kiryat Tivon, Israel, April 2017.

  • Uriya, in our warehouse in our backyard, Kiryat Tivon, Israel, March 2018. we used to hang out in the warehouse, to play and watch movies, until we grew up, as we used the space less and less.


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