In This Land
Said Zawahari , 74. Palestinian Shepherd outside his home and small farm, overshadowed by the vast Jewish settlement of Har Homa, in the Palestinian West Bank.
de Volkskrant 4 March 2013
Awarded four stars out of five!
Zed Nelson - In This Land
The Noorderlicht Photogallery is hosting the international première of In This Land, the new project about Israel by the celebrated documentary photographer Zed Nelson. An exhibition, in which Zed Nelson investigates the psyche of a people who live in the shadow of a deep-rooted conflict.
Since the creation of the state of Israel in 1948, it has been a nation imprisoned in a struggle about the occupation and possession of land. The many wars and the continued bloodshed have apparently brought the two parties in conflict – Israeli’s and Palestinians – no closer to a solution.
Zed Nelson’s In This Land tries to fathom the psyche of Israel today. In a sequence of visits he made images that serve as a counterweight to the deluge of all-too-familiar photos of stone-throwing Palestinian youths in their headscarves and militant gun-wielding Israeli settlers.
‘On my first trip, I travelled the complete land and sea border of the country, exploring the notion that Israel is a nation defined by its borders, with a population gripped by a collective siege mentality. In my second series stones, which underpins the exhibition, I aim to reflect on Israel’s fiercely unwavering belief that its identity is embedded in the very fabric of the land, with its past, present and future inextricably linked to the rocky ground underfoot. Gathered from places of deep social, religious and military significance - including scenes of crime, terror, and assassination - these seemingly benign objects seem to reveal the scars of history etched into them, bringing to mind past and future conflicts, triumphs and tragedies.’
Together with landscapes, photographed under the fierce Israeli light, Zed Nelson sketches a serene but deeply charged picture that summons us to reflection and contemplation, revealing the complex forces of belief, history, fear and revenge.
The conflict may be pitch black; but any solution does not lie in a black and white attitude.