Posts Tagged Israeli
Yulia Gorodinski was born 1984 in Belarus (former USSR) and immigrated to Israel, with her family in 1996. From 2004-2007 she studied for a B.A. in History and English Literature at Haifa University before going on to complete an M.A. in English Literature at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in 2009.
Her self-portraits have featured internationally in various publications and group exhibitions including the Basil Hallward Gallery in the USA (Sep 2010) and more recently on Photoboite; an Online group exhibition featuring Women Photographers (Jan-Dec 2011).
‘While studying for my degree I became captivated by photography and began to focus on self-portraiture. I like being the model, the photographer and the post editor. Most of my images are autobiographic. I like to express my feelings, things I experience through photography. Or I just simply enjoy creating, being inspired by light, locations, props and colors. Photography is my joy, and I feel blessed that I have discovered it. I went to music school when I was little to play piano, I went to study English Literature at University, and all because I liked it. But it wasn’t until I discovered photography and saw how passionate I was about it comparing to my other fields of interest mentioned above.’
The Itamar massacre: the spectacle of violence – ignored. One would suppose that such an event would have filled the newspapers; if not for the sake of the victims then for the anticipation of what was to come. And yet despite this, the attack on a Jewish family of five has received almost no coverage by the Western media. The question that has circulated since has been why?
In this case what is most disturbing is not the response of those Arabs who celebrated the event, (for I would expect nothing more of them) but the passive attitude of the ‘impartial’ press. Such an attitude as theirs reflects more directly the culture of Islam which places the image of the martyr above all other images. Indeed, it would seem that these photographs alone embody glory within Islam, for neither Allah nor the prophet Mohamed may appear in picture form.
Therefore the martyr receives a singular honour; immortality by the photograph. However, this unbalanced representation of society is not without consequences for photographs both reflect cultural trends and contribute to their promotion. In the case of these pictures, their impact on Palestinian society has had dramatic effect. In the words of David Suissa:
…a Palestinian child can walk to school along a street named after the terrorist Abu Jihad, who planned a bus hijacking that killed 37, spend the day in a school named after Ahmad Yassin, the man who founded Hamas, play soccer in the afternoon in a tournament honoring terrorist Abd Al-Basset Odeh, who killed 31, and end his day at a youth center named after Abu Iyad, who was responsible for killing 11 Israeli Olympic athletes in Munich.
These are the portrayed heroes of Islam; their images adorn the streets of Gaza, taking pride of place among advertisements compelling one to buy. For themselves, they become a type of advertisement for immediately one is aware of what they are looking at (the martyr) and what it leads to (immortality).
Within this immortality there exists a cultish form of celebrity; those who give their lives for the sake of Islam are to be admired for their sacrifice. It is as if Western views of chivalry are mirrored in this medieval ideology; whereas one views the likes of King Arthur and his knights to be the epitome of gallantry, those of the Near East hold the martyr to be as such.
In that respect their modern culture has built itself around these ‘legends’. Their names appear everywhere; in one case, Dalal Mughrabi, who in 1978 was responsible for perhaps the most lethal terror attack against Israel, is now honoured and immortalized by having the following named for her: elementary schools, a kindergarten, a computer centre, summer camps, football tournaments, a community centre, a sports team, a public square, a street, an election course, an adult education course, a university club, a dance troupe, a military unit, a dormitory in a youth centre, a TV quiz team and a graduation ceremony.
The ultimate conclusion is that this is a society that either lacks any real cultural identity, or has chosen to forget it in favour of promoting a new form of identity for itself. This identity has swallowed up all aspects of Arab existence; outside their own immediate circle the world has come to know them as a problem race, characterised by violence. It is a stereotype, adopted by a segment of Islam, promoted by the media and accepted by the world.
With this, the question of why the Itamar massacre received no attention can now be answered. They are not martyrs for a cause; there is no sacrifice. Rather it is murder, cold and brutal but nothing more than that. By contrast, every Palestinian that dies is by proclamation a martyr for ‘the struggle’. In the same respect that today, anybody can appear on television and claim a right to celebrity; likewise anyone can become a martyr. No effort is required, no promise of commitment is necessary. It is the joke of equality; one can appear on the pantheon stage of celebrity (martyrdom), without discrimination, just as long as one’s life is taken.
Therefore, every Arab death is news; they are statistics in an on-going conflict, proclaimed protagonists in a war. In unison the media reflect the same attitude that the Palestinians have adopted. Of course the biggest losers in this cycle of stereotype are the Palestinians themselves; not content to limit themselves to the idea that death and violence brings glory, they have achieved alienation from humanity; their behaviour accepted as cultural, no condemnation for wrongdoing.
Rachel Papo is an Israeli photographer who was born in 1970 in Columbus, Ohio and 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. She earned a BFA in Fine Arts from Ohio State University (1991-96), and an MFA in Photography from the School of Visual Arts in New York City (2002-05).
Rachel’s photographs are included in several public and private collections, and were exhibited and published worldwide. She currently lives in Woodstock, New York, pursuing fine art photography and accepting commissioned projects. Rachel is represented by ClampArt Gallery in New York City, and her first book, Serial No. 3817131, was published by powerHouse Books. She has been awarded a NYFA Fellowship in 2006 and has won a Lucie Award in 2009. Her latest personal work, Desperately Perfect, is set amoungst young ballet students at the Vaganova Ballet Academy in St. Petersburg, Russia.
‘Fifteen-year-old Katya is devastated. This week is the big international conference, in which dance professionals from around the world visit the renowned Vaganova Ballet Academy in St. Petersburg, Russia. They will be allowed to get a glimpse of the young students during several of their daily ballet lessons. The demonstration for her class was about to start, when Katya was ordered by the teacher to leave the room. Why did she have to get injured the day before the conference? This was her chance to be seen by an international crowd, and she has worked so hard to reach this point. Her shoulder hurts, but she doesn’t care. She is used to this pain. If it didn’t hurt how would she get better?’
‘In these times of reality TV and instant stardom, in a country that is constantly evolving towards western culture, there exists an institution in which the old ways are still practiced. From the age of ten until eighteen; twelve hours a day; six days a week; on the barre or in a classroom—for the students of this school there are no shortcuts.
This project is a look into the lives of a group of adolescents who, in their hope for a better, wider life, spend the majority of their youth in fierce competition. Based on my own memories of being a ballet student for nine years of my childhood, never being the best in class, these images emphasize the emotional side of these children’s uncompromising reality. They stretch their bodies further every day, desperate to stand out, while constantly being encouraged by their instructors to be uniform—identical to one another. Engaged in endless repetition of physical phrases, these students obsessively strive for a level of perfection that is always out of reach.’