I lived in Tel Aviv for 10 years, but only now, after I have left the city it hits me – Tel Aviv is a crazy place. Its dynamic, which attracts people and swallows them whole…It is not called a bubble for nothing.
There seems to be almost nothing that disturbs those living there, not financial difficulties, not terror attacks, not even the flood of tourists coming for the Eurovision, that intimidating European song contest. On the one hand, it can be seen as a great strength of the people who live there, but on the other hand – also total apathy and being detached.
I take a walk on Gordon beach with my camera, as has been my habit for the past few years, and the beach seems a little different this time, more diverse than ever. Many tourists are scattered on the hot sand and I hear a variety of languages, it is not another ordinary day. I feel that Tel Aviv has disengaged even more, this time even from itself, because the residents seem to be completely ignoring the aliens who have waded its territorial waters.
As a person who grew up in a small Co-op in the south of the country, I know that this detachment is the opposite of the Israeli agenda in every part of the country that is not Tel Aviv. Feeling responsible for one another, lively living-room conversations about politics and security were a daily routine at home. As a person living in this city, the cutoff is quite comfortable, especially if you are lonely, even when I occasionally met people in the city. I knew that when we said goodbye I would soon return to my solitude. Escapism has always been a good friend to me, but at some point, I knew that if I let it draw me in, I would get used to loneliness and close off my heart forever. Fortunately, I met my wife just before this happened.
I continue to walk on the beach toward the Eurovision village, the area where the event will takes place and nothing surprises me, not an shirtless, armed man guarding a group of young Americans, not an elderly man playing frisbee in only a thong and not a monument to the 21 suicide bomb victims that happened on the site in 2001, it stands next to the fence with the event logo and the slogan DARE TO DREAM.
Everything seems perfectly natural to me, because the State of Israel is a crazy place where anything can happen, start and finish within a few days, even minutes. All these have, unfortunately, taught me indifference, as I said, detachment. This is the only way to escape myself.
Omri Shomer began photographing and documenting his surroundings from the age of 13. In the past few years, he has managed, as a street photographer and documentary photographer, to win several world-class awards, present his works around the world and publish his material on many different websites, blogs and in galleries. Today he is an official FUJI photographer (X-PHOTOGRAPHER) and a contributor to LENS MAGAZINE INTERNATIONAL.