personal > Independence Day

“Yom Ha’atzmaut” is the Hebrew name for Israel’s Independence Day. Israelis traditionally celebrate their national holiday by lighting up barbeques in every available green space. "Volovelsky-Karny Park” was a small, triangular, grassy area opposite Tel Aviv’s Central Train Station, choked between three major roads, really no more than a glorified traffic island. Because of its shape and unromantic location, it was nicknamed “The Genitals of Tel Aviv”. Although an unlikely venue to celebrate Yom Ha’atzmaut, every year the park would be full with people partying, the air thick with barbeque smoke. I first came there to photograph the Yom Ha’atzmaut celebrations in 2012. Shortly afterwards, the Mayor of Tel Aviv, Ron Huldai, granted a permit for the homeless to set up a temporary camp on the site of the Park. At the same time, work on Tel Aviv's light railway began claiming a large area of the Park. When I returned to the Park a year later, a small number of people celebrated uneasily, alongside the growing population of social activists, homeless and drug addicts that had set up camp there. By 2014, on an unusually overcast and oppressive Independence Day, the Park looked vaguely apocalyptic. Only the stubborn or the uninformed still showed up to celebrate. Without intending it, the portraits taken over those three years depict a transition from celebration to neglect. I returned again in 2020 - during the Covid lockdown which was in force over Yom Ha’atzmaut. The Park, what is left of it, was naturally deserted.

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  • Yossi Cohen, 2012
  • Sarit & Adar, 2012
  • Michal Shefer, 2014
  • Independence Day 2020, during Covid lockdown
  • Party for Lone Soldiers, 2012
  • Elad, Vlad & Daniel, 2013
  • Gay Friends, 2012
  • Group of friends who live close to the Park, 2014
  • Annual meeting of Russian Immigrants, 2014
  • Annual meeting of Russian Immigrants, 2013
  • Amos Deutsch, 2014
  • Karny Volovelsky Park, 2014
  • Anna & Emily, 2012
  • Leonid & Moshe, 2013
  • The Ashkenazi Family, 2012
  • Friends from Nazareth Illit, 2012
  • Yakov, 2012
  • Rachel Elias with Rachel, her daughter in law, 2012
  • Bracha with her son Yossi, the twins, Ronit & Merav and Ronit's husband Gil, 2013
  • Meir Turgeman, 2012
  • Adam & Becka, 2013
  • Roni & Guy at party for lone soldiers, 2014
  • Malka Bibi & Ohad, her sister's grandson, 2012
  • Shmulik & Almog, 2013
  • The Turgeman Family, 2012
  • Avia Eiva, 2013
  • Karny Volovelsky Park, 2014
  • Uriel, self-appointed 'Mayor' of the Park, 2014
  • Haim & Yakov, 2012
  • Sofia & Aviva, 2014
  • Chen, Oren & Bobo, 2012
  • Karny Volovelsky Park, 2014
  • Betty & Itay, 2013