"Photographing is giving recognition... when one places one's mind, eye and heart on the same axis"
Henri Cartier Bresson, photographer.
Located in the Musrara neighbourhood, the Nagar School of Photography is situated at the divide between West and East Jerusalem, overlooking the walls of the Old City. Described as the 'fragile and sensative seam' of Jerusalem, the neighbourhood and its location are central to the school's identity and history.
I met with the founder, Avi Sabag, to discuss what they do and why they do it. He is a trained art historian and philosopher who views photography as a powerful tool for re-visioning how we see ourselves and the world around us. Avi is committed to arts education, with a strong interest in practice based research - this encompasses community based arts engagement as well as training the next generation of photographers, tech-heads and photo-therapists.
Avi tells me that neighbourhood renewal is central to lots of their activity- he initially came to the area wanting to connect with local people, their narratives and experiences.
Exhibitions such as 'Childhood in No Man's Land' sheds light on the history of the place - the challenging absorption processes and discrimination. The school's research into the first authentic Israeli protest movement the Black Panthers led to visual art exhibition, online platform and animations created from oral histories.
Hear Avi talk more about the school and it's philosophy:
Jerusalab is the school's programme for anyone who wants to learn, exchange and create new media: