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Unrecognized
Opening Date
21/01/2006
Closing Date
11/03/2006
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Tal Adler’s ”Unrecognized” project was born in 2003 following reports that Bedouin fields in the Negev had been sprayed with a toxic substance from the air, in a State-sponsored act. I started to look into the matter and came face to face with the issue of the unrecognized villages and their inhabitants. As an artist and an initiator of projects for social change, with awareness of the importance of public opinion in political processes, I assembled a project that makes use of artistic, media, educational and social tools to bring the story of the unrecognized Bedouin settlements to the attention of wider audiences in Israeli society.

With the help of the Regional Council for the Unrecognized Villages in the Negev, and with the aid of personal ties forged in the course of the work, I appealed to the residents, to official representatives and to representatives of groups from the unrecognized villages to participate in a project that would portray each and every village through a story and a photograph. The decision on the story to be told and the photograph to accompany it was made jointly in a process that took over two years, and that included meetings, interviews and joint discussions.

The panoramic photograph format adopted in the project is the generally accepted format for landscape and group photographs. In the annals of photography, most photographs of panoramic views portray powerful images of nature and of wild landscapes; people are, for the most part, absent from such photographs. If they appear at all, they are presented romantically, as miniature figures, as part of the landscape.

The panoramic photographs in the ”Unrecognized” project can therefore also be seen to run counter to the way the country’s leadership has viewed the Negev and its Bedouin inhabitants at different times. The romantic perception of a flock of sheep and a shepherd playing a halil (flute) on the horizon, alongside ideals that refashioned the Negev in line with imported Western standards, are confronted in the project by images of a contemporary and rich reality. Sharp and clear images whose objects are generally placed at the front of the photograph, stare directly into the eyes of the spectator, while the stories beside them explain the photographs’ social, political and humanitarian context.

As part of the ”Unrecognized Settlements” project, a website will be set up, akin to a portal for the unrecognized villages, and it will use the photographs and stories as an introduction to a more in-depth acquaintance with the villages and their inhabitants. A soon to be published book will contain articles on the subject alongside the photographs and stories.

As the project travels around the country, it will also provide a stimulus for encounters between members of different groups, Arabs and Jews from the Negev and from other places. These meetings, which might form the beginnings of more in-depth and broader acquaintances, will seek to remove the masks of ignorance, of fear and of false perceptions.

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 The CDA's archives are operating with the support of the Ostrovsky Family Fund and Artis
 

Unrecognized

Tal Adler’s ”Unrecognized” project was born in 2003 following reports that Bedouin fields in the Negev had been sprayed with a toxic substance from the air, in a State-sponsored act. I started to look into the matter and came face to face with the issue of the unrecognized villages and their inhabitants. As an artist and an initiator of projects for social change, with awareness of the importance of public opinion in political processes, I assembled a project that makes use of artistic, media, educational and social tools to bring the story of the unrecognized Bedouin settlements to the attention of wider audiences in Israeli society.

With the help of the Regional Council for the Unrecognized Villages in the Negev, and with the aid of personal ties forged in the course of the work, I appealed to the residents, to official representatives and to representatives of groups from the unrecognized villages to participate in a project that would portray each and every village through a story and a photograph. The decision on the story to be told and the photograph to accompany it was made jointly in a process that took over two years, and that included meetings, interviews and joint discussions.

The panoramic photograph format adopted in the project is the generally accepted format for landscape and group photographs. In the annals of photography, most photographs of panoramic views portray powerful images of nature and of wild landscapes; people are, for the most part, absent from such photographs. If they appear at all, they are presented romantically, as miniature figures, as part of the landscape.

The panoramic photographs in the ”Unrecognized” project can therefore also be seen to run counter to the way the country’s leadership has viewed the Negev and its Bedouin inhabitants at different times. The romantic perception of a flock of sheep and a shepherd playing a halil (flute) on the horizon, alongside ideals that refashioned the Negev in line with imported Western standards, are confronted in the project by images of a contemporary and rich reality. Sharp and clear images whose objects are generally placed at the front of the photograph, stare directly into the eyes of the spectator, while the stories beside them explain the photographs’ social, political and humanitarian context.

As part of the ”Unrecognized Settlements” project, a website will be set up, akin to a portal for the unrecognized villages, and it will use the photographs and stories as an introduction to a more in-depth acquaintance with the villages and their inhabitants. A soon to be published book will contain articles on the subject alongside the photographs and stories.

As the project travels around the country, it will also provide a stimulus for encounters between members of different groups, Arabs and Jews from the Negev and from other places. These meetings, which might form the beginnings of more in-depth and broader acquaintances, will seek to remove the masks of ignorance, of fear and of false perceptions.

 The CDA's archives are operating with the support of the Ostrovsky Family Fund and Artis
 

 The CDA's archives are operating with the support of the Ostrovsky Family Fund and Artis