האומן והיוצר, איתן אסרף
Eitan Asraf
Photo: Eitan Asraf
Eitan Asraf traveling Israel

Through the lens: Israel's lonely and desolate roads

Photographer Eitan Asraf provides us a rare glimpse into an Israel that seems to have been abandoned by its inhabitants under the specter of coronavirus

Ofir Hausman |
Published: 03.29.20 , 22:24
While most Israelis are confined to their homes due to the restrictions on movement imposed by the government to stave off the coronavirus outbreak, photographer Eitan Asraf toured the country and provided us with rare documentation of its roads, usually teeming with life, now abandoned and desolate.
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  • "The idea just came to me,” said Asraf. “After I heard the prime minister [Benjamin Netanyau] announcing the expected curfew, we packed our stuff and drove north to Mount Hermon, and after a 48-hour photoshoot, we arrived in Israel's south-most city, Eilat.”
    כבישים ריקים בארץכבישים ריקים בארץ
    Eitan Asraf traveling Israel
    (Photo: Eitan Asraf)
    “At every stop, I positioned the camera in a way i liked most and asked my partner to take a picture,” explains Asraf. “These were crazy 48 hours that included chasing clouds and keeping track of the sun’s position, all just to achieve spectacular results.”
    כבישים ריקים בארץכבישים ריקים בארץ
    Eitan Asraf traveling Israel
    (Photo: Eitan Asraf)
    כבישים ריקים בארץכבישים ריקים בארץ
    Eitan Asraf travelling Israel
    (Photo: Eitan Asraf)
    כבישים ריקים בארץכבישים ריקים בארץ
    Eitan Asraf traveling Israel
    (Photo: Eitan Asraf)
    Eitan Asraf traveling Israel Eitan Asraf traveling Israel
    Eitan Asraf traveling Israel
    (Photo: Eitan Asraf)
    Asraf headed several high profile projects in the past, including documenting Israel’s 70th Independence Day celebrations and several BBC nature documentaries and runs two highly popular Facebook and Instagram pages.
    כבישים ריקים בארץכבישים ריקים בארץ
    Eitan Asraf traveling Israel
    (Photo: Eitan Asraf)
        Eitan Asraf traveling Israel     Eitan Asraf traveling Israel
    Eitan Asraf traveling Israel
    (Photo: Eitan Asraf)
        Eitan Asraf traveling Israel     Eitan Asraf traveling Israel
    Eitan Asraf traveling Israel
    (Photo: Eitan Asraf)
    “Once I published my photos, I received endless encouraging messages from the media, editors, advertisers, and my followers, who encourage me on a daily basis to create my art,” said Asraf.
    Eitan Asraf traveling Israel Eitan Asraf traveling Israel
    Eitan Asraf traveling Israel
    (Photo: Eitan Asraf)
    Eitan Asraf traveling Israel Eitan Asraf traveling Israel
    Eitan Asraf traveling Israel
    (Photo: Eitan Asraf)
    Eitan Asraf traveling Israel Eitan Asraf traveling Israel
    Eitan Asraf traveling Israel
    (Photo: Eitan Asraf)
    Eitan Asraf traveling Israel Eitan Asraf traveling Israel
    Eitan Asraf traveling Israel
    (Photo: Eitan Asraf)
    Eitan Asraf traveling Israel Eitan Asraf traveling Israel
    Eitan Asraf traveling Israel
    (Photo: Eitan Asraf)
    According to Asraf, some of the messages he received were from people who he inspired to travel the country after the coronavirus pandemic ends.
    “I have received a lot of responses and all of them were very moving.”
    Eitan Asraf traveling Israel Eitan Asraf traveling Israel
    Eitan Asraf traveling Israel
    (Photo: Eitan Asraf)
    Eitan Asraf traveling Israel Eitan Asraf traveling Israel
    Eitan Asraf traveling Israel
    (Photo: Eitan Asraf)
    Eitan Asraf traveling Israel Eitan Asraf traveling Israel
    Eitan Asraf traveling Israel
    (Photo: Eitan Asraf)
    Eitan Asraf traveling Israel Eitan Asraf traveling Israel
    Eitan Asraf traveling Israel
    (Photo: Eitan Asraf)
    Eitan Asraf traveling Israel Eitan Asraf traveling Israel
    Eitan Asraf traveling Israel
    (Photo: Eitan Asraf)
    “People mostly thanked me for giving them a peek into the country from my perspective,” said Asraf. “One of the most moving responses I received was from a woman who wrote: "from every picture and from every angle, paradise is where we live. only through reflection can we see it, thank you for the chance to see".”
    Eitan Asraf traveling Israel Eitan Asraf traveling Israel
    Eitan Asraf traveling Israel
    (Photo: Eitan Asraf)
    Eitan Asraf traveling Israel Eitan Asraf traveling Israel
    Eitan Asraf traveling Israel
    (Photo: Eitan Asraf)
    כבישים ריקים בארץכבישים ריקים בארץ
    Eitan Asraf traveling Israel
    (Photo: Eitan Asraf)
    Asraf said his goal was simple - to show how the curfew affects Israel as a whole.
    “It was meant to document such a historic event that will be remembered for generations to come.”
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