SVA alumnus Natan Dvir (MFA 2010 Photography, Video & Related Media) was featured in Time recently for his project Eighteen, a collection of photos taken by the Israeli photographer of mostly-teenaged Israeli Arabs. “They are living as a minority in a Jewish country at war with people [the Palestinians of the West Bank and Gaza] they see as allies or even brothers,” Dvir said in Time. “Many see themselves as being discriminated against and are hoping for a change that would allow them and the rest of the Arab population in Israel an equal position in society.”
After noting the timeliness of Dvir’s project (Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is at the United Nations in New York this week and is expected to request that Palestine be recognized as a sovereign state), Time’s Ishaan Tharoor said, “Dvir’s pictures of Israeli Arabs move from intimate portraits to scenes of quotidian ennui to glimpses of the grim, bleak desolation that can shape the collective psyche of an embittered community. Throughout, the photos convey a kind of unvarnished, human normalcy.”
Dvir hopes Eighteen “is a point of contact serving as an invitation. A project aimed at reconciliation through understanding and respect,” he said. “If I, a Jewish Israeli man, have been accepted and was allowed into my subjects’ lives—so can others.”
Images: (top) Mohammad, Nazarerth (2009). (bottom) Homework (2010). Photos courtesy of Natan Dvir.