The non-profit organization PHOTO IS:RAEL strives to create a dialogue between different communities by using photographs to serve as a platform for discussion and research, igniting critical thinking, and in turn, placing a spotlight on artistic and social issues.
In an era as divisive and hostile as today, there are few things that can truly bridge the gap between two seemingly different groups of people. However, few communities understand the harsh consequences of these divides better than Israelis. Luckily, PHOTO IS:RAEL, a non-profit organization that holds workshops and photography training for all experience levels, strives to promote social change and facilitate constructive dialogue, through the language of photography, between various communities across Israel.
Eyal Landesman founded PHOTO IS:RAEL in 2014 and believes that photography is a language that can transcend any cultural or gendered boundary. Through photographs, we are able to bridge the gap between the more central and marginalized ideas and help people see the nuances and multitude of perspectives that all issues inherently have.
Throughout the year, PHOTO IS:RAEL hosts various projects in order to share their message and mission with the Israeli population and the world. One of their most important and memorable events is The International Photography Festival (taking place this November). Since its formation, the Festival has become a well-known cultural event, welcoming tens of thousands of visitors and presenting works by over 300 leading Israeli and international photographers.
Additionally, PHOTO IS:RAEL participates in The Everyday Project, a platform that uses photography to “challenge the familiar social stereotypes that shape our worldview and generate a lively debate about the misconceptions we have about reality.”
The Everyday Israel project is a portfolio of images that tell a story about the everyday complexities and implications of Israel, and those who live there, in a compelling, realistic, and easily accessible way. “In order to produce change, we must first connect people, create empathy, dialogue, and understanding,” says Landesman. “We believe that photography has the power to do so.”
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