Neta Dror|Life in Jerusalem.

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“To most people in the UK Jerusalem seems to have a war that is forever raging between a whole range of native people that thanks to the mass media come across as terrorists to most people that follow the news. The west generally don’t understand whats goes on in the middle east because it is usually hushed and not spoken by the authorities, British people are told that Israel is high risk and they shouldn’t go there because of terrorism and risk of kidnapping. This seems to be really one sided, no one knows what is really going on, we only know what we are being force fed by the media. Through chance we got talking to an Israeli photography student that lives in Jerusalem, we caught up with Neta Dror and she told us what life is like for the young people of Jerusalem.”

“Jerusalem for people my age is very different than the Jerusalem a tourist would see when visiting it. To explain Jerusalem to the non-Israeli isn’t an easy task. I could go into the history, the 3000 years, the different religions, the different nations that concord it, the empires, the left overs of the European colonialism, and the many many wars. I could talk about what Jerusalem means to Jews around the world. I could describe the many prayers and songs about Jerusalem in the Hebrew language that were sang during years of exile by Jews all over the world. But i am not religious and that wouldn’t be my side of the story.

I grew up in Jerusalem and so first of all Jerusalem is my home. It is my childhood and my childhood nostalgia and trauma. Jerusalem is international and local in the same time. There’s people of all religions and nations living here. There’s an ultra orthodox neighbourhood 10 minutes walk from an underground bar were art students pass their time. There are Arab neighbourhoods 10 minutes walk from Jewish neighbourhoods that are actually light years apart. There are tourists, million gift shops, buildings covered with white bricks, sirens, bomb threats every few days in the streets (every bag when left alone can potentially be a bomb and so the police has to close the streets and detonate it). Jerusalem is a mix. It’s like family baggage, you carry it with you even if you don’t want to. It has many sides and everybody wants a piece of it. The intensity is in the air, you feel the fanaticism but also the passion and love people have for it.

When a bus passes next to me I’m afraid it would blow up, when I’m on a bus i calculate my chances of survival. It’s post trauma that people my age have to deal with as we grew up locked in our there’s a guard in front of every store, in front of every coffee shop – a daily reminder of times a bomb would blow off every 3 days. A reminder of the constant war that started way before the country of Israel was established. A reminder of the fact this war isn’t about who owns Jerusalem, isn’t about a Palestinian state, but about different views of life, different norms.

Young people my age don’t like to talk about politics. You would have to push them against the wall to hear a word about it. They want to be left alone and not think about how the world media portraits them as blood thirsty occupiers. They want to smoke and listen to music and make love and not have to fear. We grew used to the chaos. The chaos is our home, that chaos motives my photography. Whether I like it or not,  it’s in my pictures.”

Feature by Chris Lanaway.

www.flickr.com/netadror

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