About the Book
Miki Kratsman has worked as a photojournalist in the Palestinian Occupied Territories for over three decades. Originally created in the context of daily news, his tens of thousands of photographs have, in retrospect, taken on fascinating new meanings, as bystanders become protagonists and peripheral details move to the center. Isolated from the original frame, cropped, enlarged, and redisplayed, the reimagined images ask us to explore the limits of the observer’s gaze under conditions of occupation.
Kratsman’s photographs look at both “wanted men”—individuals sought by the Israeli state—and the everyman and everywoman on the street who, by virtue of being Palestinian in a particular time and place, can be seen as a “suspect.” The work is both transgressive and banal, crossing boundaries between Israel and Palestine, “wanted” and “innocent,” street photography and surveillance imagery. Kratsman has also provoked vital, long-term interaction around the images on social media, creating a Facebook page on which viewers are invited to identify the individuals portrayed and comment on their “fate.” His complex project is chronicled in this book in more than 300 images that powerfully implicate the viewer as we follow the gaze of both occupier and occupied within a complex web of power relations around issues of life and death.
A thought-provoking text by Ariella Azoulay engages intimately with Kratsman’s images. Looking at various models of historical and civil construction of the gaze, Azoulay explores the ways in which the shadow of death is an actual threat that hovers over Kratsman’s photographed persons and frames both individuals and the borrowed time within which they exist.
About the Authors
Miki Kratsman is a prize-winning Argentinean-born photographer who has lived in Israel since 1971. His work has appeared in the Venice Art Biennale, and in solo exhibitions from Tel Aviv to Seoul , Madrid, and New York. Since 1986, Kratsman has covered the occupied territories as a photographer for several newspapers, mostly for the Schoken Group, publishers of Ha’aretz newspaper. Over the years, he has photographed Palestinians at demonstrations, daily activities, celebrations, funerals, for profile story portraits, and more.
Ariella Azoulay (born 1962, Tel Aviv) is a Professor of Comparative Literature and Modern Culture and Media at Brown University, an author, curator, film maker, and theorist of photography and visual culture. Azoulay has degrees from Université Paris VIII, Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales and Tel Aviv University.