The annual photojournalism exhibit Local Testimony will open next week and will focus on the the October 7 massacre, the war that ensued and the impact on Israel. It will also feature the social battle for democracy and the growing violence between Palestinians and settlers. "The war necessitated a significant reevaluation of our direction," said Ami Katz, the CEO of the Eretz Israel Museum, which hosts the exhibition that will be open from December 5 until February 3, 2024.
"We've dedicated a considerable space for displaying photographs from the horrific massacre and ongoing intense conflicts," Katz said. of the exhibition which is noting its 20th anniversary this year. This year's World Press Photo exhibition will not be featured this year due to technical difficulties linked to the war that prevented its transportation to Israel.
The exhibition will feature nearly 300 photographs projected onto a central wall, all taken within the first fortnight of the war. Alongside these, the works of Ynet photographer Roy Edan will also be showcased. Edan and his wife Smadar, were murdered by the Hamas terrorists who invaded their home in Kfar Aza. Their four-year-old daughter, Abigail Edan, was held hostage for over 50 days and has recently been freed from captivity.
In Edan's honor, a special prize of NIS 15,000 ($4,080) from The Union of Journalists in Israel will be presented. The exhibition will display photographs taken by soldier Lavi Lifshitz, who was killed in a battle in the northern Gaza Strip last month and was posthumously revealed as a skilled photographer.
Marking the 20th anniversary of the exhibit, a video showcasing a curated selection of images and works from over the years will be screened. The exhibition will also feature personal interviews with photographers sharing insights about their craft, including notable names such as Ziv Koren, Avishag Shaar-Yishuv, Rina CASTELNUOVO, Uriel Sinai, among others.
The Local Testimony exhibition has over the years evolved into a significant annual event in Israel, recognized for its contribution to photojournalism and documentary photography. Each year, the exhibition features hundreds of photojournalists and documentary photographers active in Israel, showcasing their unique perspectives of Israeli reality through their camera lenses. The exhibition will also spotlight major narratives across various domains, including religion and belief, sports, urbanism and culture, and nature and the environment.