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Images of Catastrophe

Your Vox Tablet preview

The Editors
February 25, 2011
‘Milk.’(2010 Yael Ben-Zion and Kehrer Verlag Heidelberg)
‘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.

From the editors of Tablet Magazine.