Conflict Within & Without

A new exhibition of urban photography explores the conflicts that are part and parcel of Israeli society.

The word “conflict” has several definitions. There is the external: “A state of open, often prolonged fighting; a battle or war” and “A state of disharmony between incompatible or antithetical persons, ideas, or interests; a clash”; the internal: “Psychology. A psychic struggle, often unconscious, resulting from the opposition or simultaneous functioning of mutually exclusive impulses, desires, or tendencies”, and the literary: “Opposition between characters or forces in a work of drama or fiction, especially opposition that motivates or shapes the action of the plot”.

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In Israel, the term ha-Conflict relates specifically to the first two definitions — state of war and state of disharmony — yet the cumulative effect over years on the Israeli psyche is akin more to definition Number 3 and, when it comes to the arts, Number 4 as well.

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Conflict is also a new exhibition by the URBANICA2014 Documentary Urban Photography Group at the ZEZEZE Architecture Gallery, Hangar 21 at the Tel Aviv Port, that presents works by 26 social activist photographers.

The photographers present those conflicts that are integral to Israeli society, expressed visually as in this image of hands tightly clasping a reserve duty call-up notice.

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According to curators Saar and Iris Avigour, “Activist photography placed conflict issues and current events before the viewer, using blunt, direct visuals to arouse clear and immediate thinking for taking a stand on burning issues.”

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“Conflict is a multidimensional concept that can be applied to a variety of situations.”

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“Conflicts and disagreements are a way of life in a pluralistic society and reflect situations of disagreement over values.”

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URBANICA2014 was formed earlier this year as an initiative of ASIP-Channel 3 and Saar and Iris Avigour, to support and promote non-commercial photographers by providing professional guidance and public exposure. The group includes more than 300 photographers — visual artists, journalists, poets and others practicing the craft — and the art — of urban photography. Conflict is URBANICA2014′s second show this year.

The participating photographers are: Uri Lavie, Blondie Anat Kobi, Sofi Abuhatzera, Silvia Roitman, Dalit Shaham, Sharon Gabai, Dubi Cyczik, Dvir Suramello, Itzhal Shaul, Eli Rimon, Ron Niv, Guy Sapir and Flavio Grinshpan, Sigal Krumer, Nofar Horovitz, Hila Ness, Dudi Tuchfeld, Keren Nimrod Malka, Orna Shalgi Naor, Aviva Demarmari, Nurit Mozes, Tal Suramello, Eran Goldschmidt, Iris Avigour, Asaf Avigour.

The Conflict exhibition runs from August 28–31, 2014 at the ZEZEZE Architecture Gallery, Hangar 21 at the Tel Aviv Port. For more information, visit the URBANICA2014 Facebook page.

About Rachel Neiman

A veteran media professional who has lived in Israel since 1984, Rachel has been part of the ISRAEL21c organization since 2008. Prior to that, she served as managing editor of Globes Online, the English-language edition of Israel’s leading business daily, and before that, at The Jerusalem Post, as a business reporter, feature writer, and consumer columnist. Rachel began writing about Israeli technology companies at LINK Israel’s Business and Technology Magazine and is a professional Hebrew to English translator. In her spare time, she is an active member of the Havurat Tel Aviv congregation, and the Holyland Hash House Harriers, part of an international running and drinking disorganization.