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Book Review: Intermarried by Yael Ben-Zion


Papers, from Yael Ben-Zion’s Intermarriage

In the book “Intermarried”, photographer Yael Ben-Zion explores the meanings and implications of intermarriage on individual lives through images and text. Ben-Zion, herself a part of an intermarriage, began the project in response to an Israeli media campaign encouraging Jews to only marry within their faith.  With the intent to get people to rethink their own ideas of what “intermarriage” means, she photographs couples in their homes and engaged in everyday activities.

Sketches from Yael Ben-Zion's Intermarried

Sketches from Yael Ben-Zion’s Intermarried

The couples in Ben-Zion’s photographs are at times only represented by hands and arms, partial views of their bodies or just objects in their homes. This focusing in on detail has the effect of bringing the viewer into these people’s lives in an intimate way. Through this sense of connection and the combined imagery of the many different couples and their children shown in the book Ben-Zion presents a view of differences and similarities that feels universal. This is reflected well in a comment by Cedric, one of her collaborators in the project, when he says, “…Most people in ‘same/same’ relationships would be surprised at how quickly “different” disappears and you become just two people trying to sustain friendship & happiness.”


Photographs by Yael Ben-Zion
Published by Kehrer Verlag, Heidelberg 2014.
Available through photo-eye Bookstore: Intermarried

For more of Yael Ben-Zion’s work: www.yaelbenzion.com

See also the F-Stop interview here: www.fstopmagazine.com/blog/2013/09/intermarried-by-yael-ben-zion

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