Reshef Shahaf


The work documents the community I grew up in – houses, yards, public buildings. Otniel is a Jewish Orthodox community in the southern Hebron Hills near route 60 where 140 families live. Over the past decades, the place has suffered many losses in terrorist attacks. My family and I left Otniel shortly after the terrorist attacks in 2016, among them the shooting of Mark family and a terrorist stabbing attack in the home of Meir family.
The series of photographs strives to reconcile the gap between the perception of a safe home and sheltering community and the sense of threat and existential insecurity. I photograph the place in the aftermath of the events, photography of traces, of a crumbling home. Photography allows me to re-examine the place that used to be my home – to break apart the cohesive image of childhood into fragments of images, to uncover another layer in the story of the community, to attest to its past and perhaps even hint at its future.