Photo essay by Bar Am-David

This venture is about existence. It chronicles the lives of immigrants and refugees in Israel. The present situation is characterized by diversity and complexity both within Israeli society and the several waves of immigration that have entered Israel’s borders. 

Over the past several years, African asylum seekers have dominated immigration in Israel, the majority of the 45- to 60 thousand having arrived from Sudan and Eritrea within the last five years. Only a very few are eligible for temporary residence permits. Given the situations in their home countries, Israel has been unable to forcibly deport most of them to their home countries, and many are currently in detention. The government is facing criticism for threating detained Eritrean and Sudanese nationals, including asylum seekers, with prolonged detention in an effort to pressure them into accepting voluntary deportation. 

Taken in full, this human kaleidoscope reminds us of the challenging relationships evolving between senior and younger immigrants during an ongoing regional conflict. 

Bar Am-David’s photographic ensemble is an exploration, employing visual culture, of multiple levels of daily difficulties facing these immigrant and refugee communities, underscored by the shared need of existence in spite of cultural differences and the challenging context of a high unemployment. The photographs reflect the infrastructure of private and collective identity and co-existence in a stressful living environment. These photographic scenes, despite the hazards they evoke, also contain notes of meaningful and positive futures relative to the subjects’ previous life experiences.

The confrontation with these daily challenges forces Am-David, as a photographer, to closely examine the socialization processes and behaviors in a critical way. 

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Bar Am-David is a London/Tel Aviv based photographer, and has completed Photography BA (Hons) degree at Middlesex University , UK . He has exhibited internationally in Malaysia , Singapore and various locations around London and the UK . His photographs have been featured on numerous publications and websites such as Vogue Italia, Foto8, Private magazine, Posi+tive Magazine, Digital Journal of Photography, Londonist, F8 Daily, The Photo Brigade, The Arts Desk,  D&AD and more. He has participated in a well known exhibition which took place at the Foto8 SummerShow at Host Gallery in Old Street , London and in addition he has exhibited in several group exhibitions in selected galleries throughout Europe and Asia . The highlight if his career has been to exhibit in several museums such as the National Portrait Gallery in London as a part of the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize and also at the Sunderland Museum, UK. He will also participate as one of the 20 finalists in Photo LA 2013: The 22nd Los Angeles International Photography Art Exposition which will take place in Santa Monica, California, USA.

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