Anonymous deserted buildings have dominated the photographic work of Efrat Shvily since she began to capture Israel’s architecture in her images in the early 1990s. The buildings so disconnected from their surroundings point to the problematic relationship between the Israelis and their land.
Efrat Shvily’s New Homes in Israel and the Occupied Territories is a series of black and white photographs of houses and neighbourhoods, which seem more like models than real buildings. In her desolate photos, Shvily does not make it clear whether the buildings were once inhabited and now deserted, currently inhabited, or soon to be occupied. The series arose in reaction to the large number of new settlements that were realised in Israel in the 1990s. Because of the speed of this development, as well as the fact that construction points are used as a means to occupy territory, the people seem to be estranged from the place and the land they live in. Shvily tries to capture this in her photos.