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‘Milk.’(2010 Yael Ben-Zion and Kehrer Verlag Heidelberg)

In a new collection of photographs titled 5683 Miles Away, Yael Ben-Zion takes as her subject the ordinary scenes of Israeli life—a milk pitcher sweating on a kitchen table alongside a copy of the daily newspaper; a young mother lifting her baby up over her head. Ben-Zion grew up in Israel, but now lives in New York City. (JFK and Ben Gurion International Airports are 5,683 miles apart.) The photos evoke nostalgia—for childhood, for a time when people put milk in pitchers—but also the contradictions and anxieties of contemporary Israeli life. The headline of the newspaper on the table refers to Syria’s threatening rulers; the baby wears a camouflage onesie. In Monday’s episode of Vox Tablet, Sara Ivry talks to Ben-Zion about how she, who moved to the United States to attend law school, came to be taking pictures of the place she left behind.





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