Pen Pal Project

Years:                  1997-1999

Location:            Israel, Palestinian Authority

Exhibitions:       Israel, Palestinian Authority, Jewish Museum Berlin, Jewish Museum of                                  Australia, New York Jewish Film Festival

Assistant:         Eldad Cidor

Volunteers:      Ofri Zuta, Sigal Lotan

The project was produced in collaboration with Mohamed Judah from the Palestinian Peace Movement and with generous support from the People to People organization in Norway.

I initiated and produced a project that comprised the exchange of photographs and personal correspondence between Palestinian and Israeli youth. We distributed disposable cameras to 500 young people who took pictures of their surroundings, to create a kind of self-portrait of themselves and their worlds. Later, we collected the cameras and printed postcards from the photographs they contained. The participants received a packet of postcards of their pictures, stamped and addressed to a pen pal who was chosen based on a questionnaire they had previously filled out. The pen pals corresponded through photographs and text for about two years, and the project was featured widely in the press in Israel and abroad. It developed into an exhibition that was held in Israel, in the Palestinian Authority, at the Jewish Museum Berlin, and at the Jewish Museum of Australia and included a catalogue in English, Arabic and Hebrew, and another in English and German.