Ami Steinitz, curator of Local Testimony 2018

A war of low but ever-increasing intensity has been going on over the past year; heavy clouds of smoke accompany reports on IDF attacks in the depth of Syria, confrontations with Palestinians on the border of the Gaza Strip, and scorched fields ignited by incendiary kites and balloons in the settlements of Otef Aza. The instable security has aggravated political, media and social polarization in everyday life: war/no war, deportation/no deportation; religionization/no religionization, enlistment/no enlistment; evacuation/no evacuation; occupation/no occupation, corruption/no corruption, nationalization/nation.

The lack of clarity vis-à-vis the extant situation and its implications worsen also as a result of changes in the character of documentation. Freedom of information and opinion in the social networks and global media channels is manipulated for disseminating fake news by private people, organizations, and countries. Photojournalism alters when numerous events are photographed by security cameras and smartphones used by the man in the street, and are circulated in the media. Thus, the financial and job-related sources of sharp-eyed photographers in the field diminish and the documentation of reality is flawed.

The uniqueness of documentary photography lies in its exclusive capture of an uncontrollable event, through which a story, hidden from our eyes, is revealed. The value of the art of photography is greater than the simplistic description of an event, and the documentary photograph expresses a repressed dimension of the world of phenomena. Through the thick fog of “there will be nothing because there is nothing” Local Testimony 2018 seeks to present an illuminated document of human culture, replete with contradiction, danger and compassion.