In an attempt to put a human face on the devastating and horrific images coming out of the Middle East during the second Intifada, I went to Israel with a camera and journal seeking to collect stories from people who struggle daily to survive in a place of constant conflict. I photographed Israeli Jews, Israeli Arabs, displaced Lebanese families, and Palestinians--each personally affected by the geopolitical context in which they live. Each photograph is accompanied by handwritten journal entries from the subjects below their Polaroid portrait. Resilience, pride, defiance, anger, vulnerability and most astonishing of all, optimism--emerge from one statement to the next. Author David Rieff said of the work in The New York Times: “The bravery of the photos in this series is that they show what even funerals do not show: the true horror of war and terrorism. They do so in a way that does not seek to turn the people portrayed into types or leech them of their beliefs or prejudices -- of their human specificity, in other words. To consider these images is to be reminded not just of human cruelty and human stupidity but also of human tenacity.” The monograph Testimony was published by Aperture in 2007.
Aliza at the memorial, 2002