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The selected photos present a fascinating and mesmerizing perspective of the events that took place over the past year. They are exhibited at the MUSA – Eretz Israel Museum, Tel Aviv photojournalism exhibition.

The main photographic event was opened on Thursday, 20 December, at MUSA, the Eretz Israel Museum, Tel Aviv. The certificates were awarded to the winners in the various photography categories.

The photos will be on display until 2 February 2019 at the Local Testimony exhibition which is now in its 16th year, together with the prestigious World Press Photo international exhibition. The joint display of the Israeli and international exhibitions offers the viewer an in-depth picture of the events that took place on the international and Israeli scenes over the year, as they were captivated in the camera lenses of the finest photographers in Israel and abroad.

This year some 7,000 photos were submitted by about 350 professional photographers; of these 170 photos and video clips were chosen, as well as Photo of the Year and Series of the Year, in the categories of news, nature and the environment, religion and faith, society and community, sports, urbanism and culture, and the photographed story.

The exhibition reflects the reality of our region, events that were striking in the media over the past year, alongside those that were important from a social and human point of view.

The curator of the exhibition is Ami Steinitz, and with him on the jury panel Uri Gershuni, photographer, artist and lecturer, Gilad Tocatly, director and producer, Mark Yashaev, photographer, artist, and lecturer, Ilan Itzhayek, editor-in-chief of Xnet, Yedioth Aharonoth Yaakov Israel, photographer, artist and lecturer, Rina Castelnuovo, photographer and journalist, Guy Raz, photographer and MUSA curator, and members of the editorial board Vardi Kahana, photographer and curator, and Dana Wohlfeiler-Lalkin, initiator and exhibition manager.

Ami Steinitz, curator of Local Testimony 2018:

“A war of low but ever-increasing intensity has been going on over the past year; heavy clouds of smoke accompany reports on IDF attacks in the depth of Syria, confrontations with Palestinians on the border of the Gaza Strip, and scorched fields ignited by incendiary kites and balloons in the settlements of Otef Gaza. The lack of clarity vis-à-vis the extant situation and its implications worsen also as a result of changes in the character of documentation. Freedom of information and opinion in the social networks and global media channels is manipulated for disseminating fake news by private people, organizations, and countries. Photojournalism alters its appearance when numerous events are photographed by security cameras and smartphones by the man in the street, and are circulated in the media. The uniqueness of documentary photography lies in its exclusive capture of an uncontrollable event, through which a story, hidden from our eyes, is revealed. The value of the art of photography is greater than the simplistic description of an event, and the documentary photograph expresses a repressed dimension of the world of phenomena”.

Winners in the various categories in the Israeli photojournalist competition, Local Testimony

Photo of the Year

Oliver Fitoussi / Haaretz

Knesset Member Oren Hazan of the Likud, taking a selfie with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and members of the coalition, following the late-night vote and passing of the Nation-State Law.

Also in the photo: Knesset Members Avi Dichter, Nurit Koren, Yaron Mazuz, Ayoub Kara, Miki Zohar and Anat Berko

Knesset Yisrael, Jerusalem, 18 July 2018

The Jury’s statement:

Oliver Fitoussi’s photo, “The Nation-State Law marks “a definitive moment”, showing the faces and names behind the written word in the law which Israel’s Knesset passed. No less than the fact that the Nation-State Law indicates the process that Israeli society is undergoing – from a democratic to a Jewish society, and some claim a shift from a democratic to racist state – the photograph depicts the moment following the voting process. It is a moment of relief and respite, and in the center the red tie worn by the prime minister signifying a “red traffic light.” Next to him stand the Knesset members who supported the law, and who mirror Israeli society – some wearing white shirts, their bellies protruding, and next to them, the “whipper ‘MK Oren Hazan, who is documenting the historic moment, like any other member of the public.

Series of the Year

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Barry Talis

Private moments of a religious and ecstatic experience during ceremonies and rituals. The photo was taken employing a long exposure technique, which creates chaos, and a flash device that underscores the main figures.

Jerusalem and Bnei Brak, 2014-2018

The Jury’s statement:

Barry Talis’s series of the year is a juxtaposition of Photo of the Year. It is a long-term work that presents the freedom of ritual and religion, depicted in personal and ceremonial moments of different ethnic groups in a democratic Israel and the freedom of creative art. Jews, Christians and Ethiopians in ecstatic moments in the lens of a virtuoso photographer who restores the belief in art and the strength of the medium to offer documentation of a moment that moves one. And indeed, the structure of the series underscores the mediational process that takes place between the eye of the photographer and his or her camera, and reality: the one that moves through the photograph’s filter and flash, creating esthetic distance on the one hand and at the same time underscoring the main figures in the frame, all this simulating reality as a virtual space, as if taken from the world of the cinema and computerized imaging.

1st Prize in the category of News, singles:

Ilia Yefimovich / DPA

A Palestinian youth during a conflict with IDF soldiers in the West Bank, during the second week of demonstrations that took place after US President Donald Trump announced the move of the US embassy to Jerusalem.

Kalandia, 20 December 2017

1st Prize in the category of News, series:

Amir Cohen / Reuters

Incendiary kites, fires, smoke and rockets in Otef Gaza (Gaza envelope).

Otef Gaza, November 2017-August 2018

1st Prize in the category of Nature and Environment, singles

Ohad Zwigenberg / Yedioth Ahronoth

Israel Border Police at a camouflage drill.

Jerusalem Hills, 27 March 2018

1st Prize in the category of Nature and Environment, series:

Alexander Bronfer

Bathers and visitors at the Dead Sea, near Har Sdom.

Ein Bokek, September 2016-August 2018

1st prize in the category of Religion and Faith, singles:

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Emil Salman / Haaretz

Members of Neemanei Har Habait (Temple Mount Devotees) slaughtering a sheep, “practicing” for the Passover sacrifice (the Paschal lamb). Members of the movement are determined to build the Third Temple.

Jerusalem, 19 March 2018

1st Prize in the category of Religion and Faith, series:

Asaf Freidman

Chevra Kadisha employees regard the work of tohara (preparing the body for burial) and burial as a mission, based on the sublime goal of maintaining the honor of the dead on his or her final voyage to eternal rest.

Cemeteries, January- August 2018

1st Prize in the category of Society and Community, singles:

Marc Israel Sellem / Jerusalem Post

Miriam and Neria playing with their infant son.

Yitzhar, 12 August 2018

 

1st Prize in the category of Society and Community, series:

Oren Ziv /Activestills, for Local Discussion

The settlement Khan al-Ahmar was founded in the 1950s between Jerusalem and Jericho by Bedouins who were evicted from the Negev. In September 2018 the Supreme Court approved the demolition of the village, including the school where children of the area study. The evacuation of the village, located in E1 area, has won international interest, since it is regarded as part of an Israeli attempt to prevent the territorial continuity of a Palestinian State.

Khan al-Ahmar, 11 June-18 July 2018

1st Prize in the category of Sports, singles:

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Ohad Zwigenberg / Yedioth Ahronoth

Yossi Benayoun, one of the best Israeli football players, came to play with Beitar Jerusalem. As a result of an argument with the owner, Eli Tabib, he was forced to leave the club.

Jerusalem, 17 January 2018

1st Prize in the category of Sport, series:

Michael Shvardron

Horse race on a race course in the Negev.

Segev Shalom, April-May 2018

1st Prize in category of Culture and Urbanism, singles

Asaf Kliger

Tom Yaar removing her makeup at the end of a day of filming for the program “Tom Yaar is doing matriculation”.

Tel Aviv, 18 June 2018

1st Prize in the category of Culture and Urbanism, series

Corinna Kern /Reuters

Roofs of Tel Aviv serve as a safe haven for various purposes.

Tel Aviv, October 2017-January 2018

1st Prize in the category of the Photographed Story:

Gili Benita

A year’s follow-up of the organization Save a Child’s Heart, an Israeli humanitarian organization, that offers life-saving medical treatment to children from developing countries, who suffer from congenital heart disease. Since the organization was founded, 4,800 children from 58 countries, whose fate was sealed, were treated and were able return to their countries.

Wolfson Medical Center, the Save a Child’s Heart children’s home, Jakaya Kikwete Cardiac Institute in Dares Salaam, Tanzania, 2017-2018

 

Partners and supporters: Tel Aviv-Yafo Municipality, Ynet, Ofek Aerial Photography, Canon and Samsung

Opens: 21 December 2018

Closes: 2 February 2019

Opening hours: Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday: 10 am – 10 pm/ Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, 10 am – 4 pm/Friday 10 am – 2 pm

Guided tours open to the public: Saturdays 11 am., 12:30 pm, Mondays and Thursdays, 11:30 am (included in ticket price)

Tickets: NIS 52/ Tel Aviv residents: NIS 42/ Senior citizens: NIS26/ Children under 18 – free of charge