Beggars and scholars, slaves and warriors have all walked the narrow paths of the Old City of Jerusalem. These lived experiences can often fall from focus in prominent cities like Jerusalem, where turbulent affairs prioritise the geo-political significance of spaces over the people who occupy them.
In this series of photographs, Ilan Wittenberg provides us with a rehumanised look at the Old City of Jerusalem, which occupies less than one square kilometer. The images feature portraits of proud merchants from across all four quadrants of the Old City: the Muslim Quarter, the Jewish Quarter, the Armenian Quarter and the Christian Quarter. The photographs focus the viewers attention on the individual. Strong contrasts and ambient lighting strongly emote each person’s expressions and body language, clues of hidden lives and untold stories that exist beyond the frame. Together, these images offer a view of the city as one occupied by real people who share a rich culture and history that has accumulated from a busy day-to-day reality.
Wittenberg was awarded the title of 2015 Auckland Photographer of the Year by the New Zealand Institute of Professional Photography for this body of work.
20 February – 1 May 2016