At the end of the Second World War, persecuted Jews travelled to Israel to begin a new life. Here, in the dusty landscape, these refugees toiled the land, built infrastructure and created communities based on socialist and egalitarian principles.
And so the ‘kibbutz’ was born.
These new models of living were once a relevant and dynamic part of Israeli life. But recent years has seen the closure and part privatisation of kibbutzim across Israel, as many of the young leave to make a life in the (increasingly capitalist)
cities outside of their rural settlements.
256 kibbutzim still survive, with varying degrees of success. I spent time at 12 of these; from the original kibbutz to the newest, the most religious to the most liberal, from the traditional to the alternative.
The following is a series of portraits of ‘kibbutzniks’, including a survivor of Bergen Belsen, a Texan cowboy called Ron, a vet,
a buddhist, an ornithologist, Scandinavian volunteers and many more.