Welcome to Lindsay’s first series. Here, we will ask some of our favourite photographers from around the world who are still working with film, about the cities they’ve intimately documented. To kick off the series, let us introduce you to Jill Schweber, a Canadian who recently returned home after a five year stint in Israel’s second largest city, Tel Aviv. We were instantly drawn to Jill’s vibrant photographs where a modern Tel Aviv pops against a landscape rich with history; the old and new contrasting at every corner. In what has become a technology hub, today the youth of Tel Aviv enjoy a cosmopolitan lifestyle along a sunny coastline, while the past attempts to stand strong in the walls of Bauhaus architecture, traditional bricks and mortar stores and Jaffa’s ancient port city.
How long were you living in Tel Aviv for and what prompted the decision to move there?
I lived there for five years! There are so many reasons why I moved there. Let’s say the amazing weather, lifestyle, culture and people.
How would you describe Tel Aviv to someone who hasn’t been there?
Well, there are a few ways to describe Tel Aviv. Some can see it as a grim city where run down buildings have cables and wires dangerously hanging from every wall. Or you can see it as a beautiful sunny place with Bauhaus architecture, flowers and beautiful people.
What is the culture like? How is it different from other places you’ve been?
The culture is a beautiful mix between young hip Telavivians and characters from the “old country.” The young Telavivans are always out living and loving life to the fullest: coffee shops, restaurants and bars are always full no matter the time or day of the week. They are very social, artistic and friendly. Then there is the older generation who started the country from scratch and are very traditional. They’re always getting involved in other people’s business. It’s amazing.
When did you first start taking photos? Do you remember why?
In ninth grade I took my first photography class. Probably because my older sister did!
What camera and film do you shoot with?
Right now I’m shooting a lot with my Contax T2 and Hassleblad. I usually shoot with Kodak Portra 400 film.
What were your favourite things to photograph in Tel Aviv and why?
The people! Always. From my friends, to people on the beach, to the old shop keepers.
Why is photography important to you?
For me it’s a form of documentation above everything else.
Jill’s tour of Tel Aviv…
Your favourite neighbourhood:
Your favourite place to eat:
Your favourite place for a drink:
Your favourite thing to do in your free time:
I spent most of my time riding my bike and hitting the beach or sitting at my favourite coffee shop for hours.
Your favourite place to shop:
To be honest, I’m not the biggest shopper. But I do love what Ata is doing. They are bringing back a nostalgic kibbutz style.