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March 2014 Featured Photographer of the Month

Israel and Palestine

Markus Drayss | Israel / Palestine

In the Balata refugee camp, Nablus, /West Bank

Israel and the Palestinian Territories cover a rather small region in the Middle East. The peoples that live in this region, however, could not be more divided in terms of politics, culture, religion, ethnicity, or any combination of these factors.

Sometimes it takes no more than a five minute walk from one world to another: you leave a street-art covered secular area of Jerusalem, and enter the orthodox Jewish world of Mea Shearim; you leave the narrow streets of the souk in Nablus, and enter the maze of the Balata refugee camp.

As a photographer, I felt strangely privileged that I could freely travel around these different worlds, while the people who inhabit them are kept apart  - often physical (with borders and checkpoints), and often only in their minds.

This series of photographs attempts to capture that atmosphere. Some of the photos feel strangely timeless, they could have been taken a hundred years ago, while some of the photos take us right to the hotspot of current political conflict.



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