For ten years, Reli Avrahami and Avner Avrahami have wandered throughout Israel, photographing random families and questioning them about their daily lives. She takes photographs, he writes; she navigates, he drives; she’s a wife, he’s a husband.
They have visited hundreds of families in their private homes – and others who live under one roof. Their portraits appeared regularly in the weekend supplements of Haaretz (and later Maariv), week by week, becoming a routine for Israeli readers. Encounters with a variety of people, born in the country or immigrants, Jews and Arabs, Muslims, and Christians, coming from Europe, Africa, and Asia.
The format was always the same: a colourful photograph and a very personal text. The traces of tensions in the Israeli society, national and religious, social, political or ethnic, are visible in the ambience of everyday life, in the environment of living rooms and family stories.
Of the hundreds of families whose stories have appeared in the weekend supplements of Haaretz and Maariv, about 80 were selected for this exhibition, that was shown in the Eretz Israel Museum Tel Aviv in 2012 and now for the first time in Europe by the Jewish Museum Hohenems: 80 portraits of families in Israel, a country still searching for a nationhood that can bring its diverse people together.
Each family stands alone, but together they create a sort of group portrait of Israel in the first decade of the 21st century.
“We started out on June 18, 2002. A bus exploded in Jerusalem, Israelis were avidly following the World Cup in South Korea, the country was bleeding, and we set out to ask people how they were doing. That day, after receiving two tickets (one for speeding in the Jezreel Valley, the other for a parking violation in Tiberias), and after visits to three homes (in Kfar Hitim, Moshav Mitzpe and Kibbutz Lavi) we reached two conclusions that colored our work in years to come: 1 ) Everyone has a story to tell; 2 ) Interviewing three families in the same day is not a great idea.” (Avner Avrahami)
Galia Gur Zeev (Tel Aviv)
atelier stecher (Götzis)
Roland Stecher and Thomas Matt
Tanja Fuchs/Angelika Purin
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