PDN Photo of the Day

Girls at War (6 photos)

Girls at War (6 photos)

 All photos © Gillian Laub.

On assignment with writer Elizabeth Rubin for Tablet Magazine, New York-based photographer Gillian Laub traveled to the Israeli settlements in the West Bank to produce a series of portraits of teenage girls, all students and former students of an Orthodox religious school called Ma’ale Levona. The work appears as part of a searing report on the teenage believers who could reshape the Israeli-Palestinian struggle. As Rubin writes, the girls, who live on one of the front lines of that conflict, are being taught to become “a new kind of girl—smitten with God, righteous, ideological, ready to fight and procreate for the cause of restoring biblical Israel.”

The challenge for Laub was to convey each girl’s defiance, strength, and determination, mixed with their youthful vulnerability. “After all,” she says, “they were still teenagers, but they viewed themselves as warriors. I also wanted to show the land, the idyllic landscape, that is the root of this ongoing conflict.”

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  1. I love the how the portraits have a very saturated look without be bright and vibrant. The connection of the subjects to their surroundings is strengthened yet they aren’t lost in it. Very nice photography.

    On the other hand. The beauty of these portraits is in stark contrast to the ugliness that these young women are taught. It evokes a deep sadness in me that they would venerate such a horrific and damaging philosophy.

  2. well, only those who are hostile towards zionism or religions are writing, here. I think there’s some undeniable beauty and innocence in these pics and the determination of the girls in them. When I see Israeli girls lost, partying, and, getting corrupt in New York,
    I find it uglier.

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