One small country

Marc Shoul explores the small cycles of daily life against a larger backdrop of shadow, light, unspoken drama and uncertain peace in Israel.
Posted 1 Nov 06 By Design Indaba Point of View / Opinion Comments

First Published in

These images were photographed in September 2005 during a week I spent in Israel. I spent a year there in 2004 and had not been back. I wanted to see how things were.

What inspired me about Israel was that, although there is a feeling of uncertainty, life and the people still go on regardless. The clubs and bars in Tel Aviv pump until morning and some clubs only get going at about 12pm.

Tel Aviv is an amazingly cosmopolitan and very fashion-conscious seaside city. By contrast, Jerusalem and the Old City present a mix of religion, history and people. Like South Africa, Israel has many vastly different nationalities in one small country. Israel is an amazing mix of cultures but, as we know, people usually stick to the cultures they are familiar with.

Architectural styles range from ultra-modern to ancient temples, and the landscape is similarly diverse, from wetlands to deserts. But this all comes together to form the mix that is Israel.

These images are by no means a complete representation and are more a snapshot of a place that gets a fair bit of bad publicity. I think it’s important to know that there are amazing day-to-day things happening in this little country, which is smaller than the Kruger National Park. In my images, I tried to focus on the lifestyles and culture of your average person in Israel and not to take a political stand.

About the photographer

Marc Shoul lives and works in Johannesburg. His work has been published in Colors, Dazed & Confused, Mother Jones, WAD, Blueprint and Design Indaba magazine. He has just returned from an assignment in Kenya.