This issue features the winners of best of 2015’s Creative Writing programme at the University of the Witwatersrand.

archive - issue 17

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Monday, 30 April 2012 02:00


By  Ido Abramsohn
Models of Israeli soldiers and Palestinian insurgents and civilians were photographed and enlarged. The new scale of the models casts the original meaning of the images in doubt and enables us to scrutinize the stereotypical perception of the image of the "good" and "bad" soldier, as well as to examine local stereotypes of the Israeli as opposed to the Palestinian.

The models (scaled at 1:35) are made of plastic resin and used for amateur diorama modeling. Created mainly by western manufacturers, the Israeli soldiers are portrayed as a legitimate force, while the Palestinian soldiers are mostly portrayed as outlaws. The character of the conflict, which takes place in a civilian environment, invites a representation of types that supposedly characterize the Arab population, among them women and children.

The individual soldier/civilian type represents a sector of the population engaged in the conflict. This representation is translated into a model that refers to actual events and draws on the collective pool of imagery found in the media and in mass culture. The frozen movements augment the moment of life/death and create symbolic and heavily charged imagery.
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