Rachel Neiman
July 25, 2014

Photo-therapy is a new art therapy field that uses photography as a therapeutic tool. In Israel, the first photo-therapy program was established in 2003 at the Naggar School of Photography, Media, New Music, Visual Communication and Phototherapy in Musrara, Jerusalem.

The School — familiarly know as “Musrara” — is characterized by a commitment to social change in Israel. This vision is in the spirit of the neighborhood of Musrara; its past as a poor community on the border of pre-67 Israel and its heritage as a center for the Israeli Black Panther movement of the 1970s. Musrara has created a unique model of a three-year course of study that stresses the relationship between artists and the community.

So it was only natural that an institute like Musrara  — with the endorsement of the European Graduate School in Switzerland (E.G.S) — would be first to offer the discipline of photo-therapy. Department head Orna Glass says there is a growing demand for photo therapy professionals and that graduates go on to work in various therapeutic fields.

Musrara’s final exhibitions reflect the spirit of the different departments: photography in all of its aspects: color, black and white, natural, manipulated, documentary or studio photography; musical experiments, classic and digital animation, sound and video installations.

A selection of work by photo-therapy department graduates explores intimate and often difficult topics ranging from a personal documentation of a father’s life in an elder care facility…

Mussrara-2014_Ika Rivka Iosub

Photo by Ika Rivka Iosub

Memory as represented by a house, once lived in and now abandoned…

Mussrara-2014_Ruba Raya

Photo by Ruba Raya

Emerging womanhood…


Photos by Bella Frenkel

An exploration of the tension between beauty and imperfection…


Photo by Talia Avny

An absent father who returns only to die months after reuniting with his family…


Photo-collage by Michal Shaviv

A rehabilitation center for women victims of prostitution…

Mussrara-2014_Sigal Roth Samai

Photo by Sigal Roth Samai


Mussrara-2014_ Revital Stern Zivan_1+2

Photo by Revital Stern Zivan

For more information about the school’s programs and to see the full final exhibition of Musrara School graduates visit their website and Facebook page.

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