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History of Photography


The history and development of photography in Jerusalem is a topic intimately connected with the religious significance and the complex socio-political history of the city. Several studies have been published on the subject. However, they deal, almost in their totality, with either European or early Zionist photography. The study of the development of photography as a craft practised by Jerusalem's indigenous population has been almost totally neglected. With the exception of a short chapter in a book written in Hebrew, no studies have been conducted on the subject.1 The topic is both vast and complex. The following essay offers an overview of the development of what I will refer to as local photography in Jerusalem and, at the same time, tackles the problems involved in writing such a history. It is by no means a comprehensive study. But it is my hope that it will formulate a different understanding of the history of photography in Jerusalem and will pave the way for further studies on the subject.




First published in History of Photography volume 27, issue 4 (2003): 320-332.