Gallery Kayafas is pleased to present Yoav Horesh's 4th solo exhibition at the gallery: «Serene Oasis».
In the fall of 2013 returned Horesh to his birth country, Israel, after more than 16 years that he has lived, photographed, studied and taught photography in the United States, Germany and Hong Kong. The country he returned to felt very different from the one he remembers leaving in his early twenties. Not only had the regional conflict worsened, but the socio-political map had significantly shifted amidst the arrival of large numbers of immigrants and refugees from Asia, Eastern Europe and Africa. While Israel has come to rely on foreign/migrant workers and has welcomed domestic, construction and agricultural foreign workers over the years, other categories of migrants/refugees/asylum seekers were not.
He began to photograph in Neve Sha'anan in the fall of 2014 as a reaction for the growing intolerance and prejudice he encountered among many Israelis towards refugees, asylum seekers and migrant workers who live in this southern Tel Aviv neighborhood among more veteran Israeli residents. He started by taking long walks carrying his large format camera on a tripod, engaged in conversations with people he met and photographed. Later he was invited to photograph inside their homes and eventually in 2015 relocated his home and studio to the neighborhood. This became his «Serene Oasis». The name for this project comes from the literal English translation for «Neve Sha'anan». The small and poor Tel Aviv neighborhood which is home for thousands of African, Asian, Eastern Europeans and Israelis and where he photographed for almost three years.
Neve Sha'anan was established in the 1920s by Jewish immigrants seeking better lives. It became a symbol of pioneering, innovation, and prosperity in post-World War I Palestine under British Mandate. Today, the neighborhood and its residents are in the midst of a heated debate in Israel about civil rights, demographics, immigration, foreign workers and asylum seekers who arrived in Israel in recent years. Although the neighborhood is merely one square kilometer in size )200 acres), it encompasses an incredible variety of people who live, work and are in fact a part of Tel Aviv's cultural and human landscape. Because of gentrification and the transitional nature of migrant populations Neve Sha'anan is changing rapidly. These photographs of the streets, the homes and the residents of Neve Sha'anan represent a microcosm of a changing world we witness on almost every continent.
More than 60 million people are displaced around the world because of conflict and persecution, the largest number ever recorded by the United Nations. About 14 million of those fled their homes in 2014. The increase in armed conflicts, economic hardship and civil wars created waves of immigration and millions of refugees in transit seeking asylum in foreign states in hopes to provide for their families and in search for a better future.
As the need for a safe haven for transitional population was not diminished by the passage of time, «Serene Oasis» does not only concern the socio-political situation in «Neve Sha'anan» but puts emphasis on the people who live there.
A percentage of all proceeds will be donated to The Hotline for Refugees and Migrants, a non-profit organization to defend the rights of migrants and refugees in Israel.