‘Altneuland’ (Old-new world) by Amit Sha’al
A journey through time and place in Israel, originally commissioned by Calcalist magazine.
“I held the photos in front of me and shot a wider photo. The colored 2010 reality continues where the black and white photo ends. In some places, it seems nothing has changed, but in others, the buildings have changed their purpose and the black and white people are planted strangely in today’s reality.” —Amit Sha’al
Sha’al’s photographs were recently included in the World Press Photo exhibit in Beirut, but amid controversy stemming from the artist’s nationality the show closed early. The work doesn’t strike me as overtly political, I am moved by its universal theme of change, the way past and present bleed into and inform one another. I often find revisiting places I’ve been emotionally charged. Sometimes it’s anger for a cut-down tree or torn down building, or confusion at barely recognizing a revitalized block. And when little has changed, the pangs of nostalgia set in.
Thanks to the stunning Greater Middle East photo blog for alerting me to this project.