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  • Talma Gotteiner

Photo IS:RAEL - The 9th International Photography Festival

Hi there,

The International Photography Festival, which is being held for the ninth time this year, continues to be the largest photography event in Israel. It is unique in that it provides a platform for social activity alongside fascinating exhibitions of photographers and artists from all over the world. This year the festival is presenting around 90 exhibitions by leading Israeli and international photographers, combining multidisciplinary activities such as dance, performance, video art, music and more.

In response to the challenges of the period, the photography festival, for the second year in a row, has become an outdoor celebration that takes place in the Yarkon Park, to which anyone can come without restrictions at any time of day. In addition, another 15 interior exhibitions are displayed in the beautiful spaces of the Daniel Rowing Center.

In order to make the photography festival a significant and expansive event, dozens of events, meetings, artist talks, workshops, panels, lectures by international guests, tours and more will be held alongside the exhibitions.

In addition to the variety of physical events, there will be a rich international online program on the last weekend of the festival, November 25-27th, 2021 that will provide a platform for speakers from around the world for the benefit of photography enthusiasts who could not attend the festival. The online program is supported by the State Department.

Photo IS:RAEL - The 9th International Photography Festival
Credit: Rami Zeevi THROUGH THE LOOM

WHEN: November 18-27, 2021

The main theme of this year's festival is entitled MEETING POINT. The topic was first selected with the participation of the public and is more relevant than ever after a long period of disconnection and isolation under the conditions of a global epidemic. The act of photography is the meeting point between light and matter and between emotion and story. Through it, many meeting points are revealed in the photography festival's exhibitions - intergenerational, international, ethnic and especially social. Also this year over 1000 women and men, girls and boys, from Mitzpe Ramon in the south to the Cana village in the north, participated in our social activities, taking pictures themselves and telling us in the first person about their difficulties and needs as individuals and as a community.

The festival's event program will also serve as a meeting point for artists from various fields and will open the field to additional levels of thought and research. Among the surprising meetings planned - musician Mira Awad will meet the photographers who won the PHOTO CO:EXISTENCE competition; The poet Sarai Shavit will talk to the photographers of the main exhibition of the festival; And the festival's guest of honor, international artist Roger Balen, will talk to Eyal Landesman, the festival's artistic director, about his photography career and provide a rare glimpse into photography he photographed in Israel in the 1970s.

During 2022, the festival will continue to migrate to the geographical and social periphery and will be presented in additional locations throughout Israel.


  • MEETING POINT, the main theme exhibition of the festival - the exhibition will present through photography a variety of original interpretations of the term meeting point. About 850 artists from 46 different countries responded to the call for a "meeting point" issued this year by the festival, from which the artistic committee selected 20 artists to exhibit at the festival's main exhibition.

  • The finalist exhibition of the Meitar Award for Excellence in Photography - The Meitar Award, the result of a collaboration between PHOTO IS:RAEL and the Zvi and Ofra Meitar Family Foundation, is being awarded for the sixth year to an artist whose body of work demonstrates originality and excellence in photography. This year's exhibition features 20 finalists' bodies selected anonymously by the panel of judges from about 500 bodies submitted from 47 countries. The judging process was carried out by a panel of judges that includes leading professionals in their field from around the world. The winner of the award will be announced at a festive event as part of the online program during the festival and will win a prize of a grant of 50,000 NIS for a solo exhibition to be presented at the 2022 International Photography Festival.

  • 63 Social Exhibitions - The social activity of PHOTO IS:RAEL is based on the belief that every person in society has the right to present themselves, reflect their world to the environment and have their say directly and indirectly. From 2015 until today, over 5,000 men and women, children and adults, from over 150 communities across the country participated in the organization's social activities, with the aim of making their voices heard through the language of photography. Participants, usually from disadvantaged populations on the margins of society (clean addicts, the disabled, women at risk, youth at risk, youth from minority groups, the elderly, youth on the autism spectrum, etc.), photograph themselves and thus create a direct message of the individual and community. This year 63 groups from all over the country will be represented. The participants, who come from a variety of communities on the fringes of society, photograph themselves and make their voices heard in order to promote a change in Israeli society's attitude toward underprivileged groups. The products of social activity allow voices that are not heard in the public discourse to move to the front of the stage, and encourage the participants to adopt an active position. Curators: Ora and Amir Ben Yoram Dori.

One such exhibition is Rami Zeevi's exhibition entitled 'Through the Loom'. The exhibition is based on an original method of his development, enabling printing of images on weaving looms of organic yarns that incorporate manual craftsmanship. Zeevi will present a number of photographs taken in different periods and offer a historical meeting point: between the Africa of his childhood and present-day Africa. The placement of the exhibition, which confronts the viewer with the changes taking place in Africa, also raises the possibility of coexistence between the continent's human inhabitants and their neighbors - wildlife. The exhibition is part of Zeevi's activities for the Kenyan organization NRT, whose main task is to enable the prosperity of wildlife alongside a continuous improvement in the lives of local communities and concern for their well-being. Curator: Daria Kaufmann


  • Mandy Barker, Our Plastic Ocean - Mandy Barker is an award-winning photographer who has been working for over a decade, in collaboration with scientists, to raise awareness of plastic pollution in the world's oceans. The exhibition will feature a number of projects in which she photographed plastic waste found at sea and on beaches all over the world. With the help of her aesthetic photographs, she strives to lead viewers to an awareness of the situation and action. The exhibition is in collaboration with the British Embassy in Israel and in collaboration with the Clear Association.

  • Jędrzej Nowicki, The Scars - a solo exhibition by Polish photographer Jędrzej Nowicki. In August 2020, press photographer Nowicki traveled to Belarus and documented the demonstrations against the rule of President Lukashenko, which were violently stopped by the police. Unlike his journalistic work in which he usually photographs the point of confrontation, in this project Nowicki emphasizes the physical and mental bruises of those photographed in the face of life under dictatorial rule in Belarus. The exhibition is in collaboration with the Adam Mickiewicz Institute.

  • Dalia Amotz, Gan Shmuel By-Pass - a solo exhibition for the groundbreaking and esteemed photographer Dalia Amotz (1938-1994), one of the pioneers of photography in Israel. The exhibition will feature iconic works she photographed in the 1970s and 1980s alongside the archived photographs she photographed as a girl in Kibbutz Gan Shmuel. The exhibition is courtesy of the artist's family and the Gordon Gallery.

  • Jesus Madriñan, Good Night - A large solo exhibition for the Spanish photographer Jesus Madriñan, one of the most well-known and successful upcoming photographers in Spain today. For over a decade, Madriñan has been filming nightclubs across Europe to capture the voice of an entire generation that finds nightlife the best meeting point for expression and fulfillment. The exhibition is in collaboration with the Spanish Embassy.

  • Olja Triaška Stefanović, Brotherhood and Unity - a solo exhibition for the Slovak photographer that tells the story of her childhood and adolescence in Yugoslavia, dismantled through the architecture of memory and forgetfulness - abandoned monuments and huge crumbling buildings. Stefanović weaves through architectural elements between Yugoslav history and that of Czechoslovakia, which is also no longer there today. The exhibition is in collaboration with the Slovak Embassy.

  • Matty Stern, Unofficial Photographs - a solo exhibition by Matty Stern, the official photographer of the US Embassy in Israel since 1975, during which he documented groundbreaking events in Israeli-US relations for 47 years. He accompanied all official visits of US representatives including presidents, secretaries of state as well as artists and celebrities. His photographs provide reliable evidence of historic events. Curator: Kineret Palti. The exhibition is in collaboration with the US Embassy.


  • A festive opening event in collaboration with Raanana Symphony - COLORFOOD - a concert and a screening of photographs by photographer Dan Lev - The Raanana Symphony Orchestra will open the International Photography Festival with a concert that is part of the "Colorfood" project that connects classical music, culinary and photography. The great local chefs among them: Haim Cohen, Naifa Mulla, Assaf Sri, Ido Feiner, Nir Mesika, Moshiko Gamlieli, Mattan Abrahams, Raz Rahav and Sabina Waldman, listened to the works and were inspired to create dishes photographed by culinary photographer Dan Lev. On the eve of the opening of the festival, November 17, the Raanana Symphony will play ten musical works that inspired the artistic photography, with the culinary works displayed behind the musicians.

  • The "Working Man" photography marathon - PHOTO IS:RAEL in collaboration with the Histadrut is inviting you to join a unique photography marathon in Tel Aviv. This year, the photography challenges will be dedicated to the workers who drive the Israeli economy. The marathon, held as every year in Tel Aviv-Yafo, will give participants the opportunity to document the employees who make the city as dynamic, unique and creative as it is. The marathon is designed for photographers of all ages, with a professional camera or with a cell phone, who will receive photo challenges in a mobile phone message and document the city and its people, in a fascinating five-hour journey. The marathon will start from the Histadrut Park on Arlozorov Street in Tel Aviv - Friday, Nov 19th, following advance registration here.

  • Big Fence / Pitcairn Island. Rhiannon Adam - During the festival we will launch the book of the winner of the Meitar Prize for Excellence for 2020 and produced by PHOTO IS:RAEL and BLOW UP PRESS. The book is a powerful and disturbing exploration of the 'Lost Paradise' and the claustrophobic: Pitcairn Islands, Britain's last overseas territory in the Pacific. In 1790 the island became home to a group of fugitives; those responsible for the most famous uprising in history aboard the HMS Bounty. The descendants of these and their captives from Tahiti still inhabit the island today. Adam, makes the long journey to Pitcairn Island and boldly reveals stories of abuse from the past.

  • A series of lectures in collaboration with CANON - a series of lectures by the best photographers in the world in collaboration with Canon Global, as part of the online program.


Festival activity days: Thursday, 17.11.21 until Saturday 27.11.21

90 outdoor exhibitions open to the general public | 15 Interior Exhibitions | Hundreds of photographers from around the world | Meeting and Event Program | Guided tours |Photography marathon

Access to the festival's exhibitions for the visually impaired and blind in collaboration with the Library for the Blind.

For visitors who want to experience the festival including the complete experience of events and activities, we offer 3 types of packages:

  • DAY PASS - cost of 32 NIS

  • VIP PASS - cost of 72 NIS

  • KIDS PASS - for children and families at a cost of 20 NIS

In addition, an expanded array of a variety of guided tours will be held in accordance with the limitations of the Ministry of Health.

Registration to events and full details are available on the festival website.



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Disclaimer: All marketing affiliations have been canceled. Articles before March 2021 may contain links that were once affiliate links but are now regular links.


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