i’ve been approached by a alexis lam, a photographer i know, who is currently in lima, peru. alexis is working with jewish youth in lima to strengthen their ties to israel, to boost their sense of zionism. he is putting together a photo album with images by israeli photographers depicting each of their perspectives of contemporary israel. the book will be a gift to every jewish household in lima. alexis wanted me to join the project with photos from “in spite of!”
1st of all i want to say that i think alexis is doing some wonderful and very important work and i am honored to take part! thank you alexis for your offer!
but i had some convincing to do. deep down it was obvious to me that for a project having to do with modern-day israel, having to do with zionism, with the promise of a homeland for the jewish people in the land of israel, the more appropriate project was “malki’s legacy“. why? that took some thinking and careful wording to convince alexis.
the malki foundation was born of an atrocious act of murder and of the unimaginable personal tragedy of the roth’s. their loss of malki is not something with which to encourage lima’s jewish youth to feel for israel. what is important here, what in my mind signifies pure and generous zionism, are the roth’s wonderful activities in helping the children and families of israel, in a way that is consistent with the legacy left by malki – a story of hate inflicted death nurturing love and giving, nurturing life.
in this regard i had another insight today. what is it about photojournalism in israel that attracts me so much? doing a photo documentary project about israeli society, with all its conflicts and contradictions, the special and the beautiful, is the highlight of my photographic aspirations. it’s a journey of research and discovery into the souls of israelies. it creates an intimacy unknown to outsiders. and there is no better example of the conflicts and contradictions, the special and the beautiful in israeli souls, than malki’s legacy.
malki roth, 1985-2001