Spencer Tunick and Israel’s Tent Protest Leader Team up For Dead Sea

Dead Sea, Spencer Tunick, social activism, environmental activism, IsraelRenowned nude photographer Spencer Tunick and Daphne Leef, the leader of last year’s tent protests in Tel Aviv, are teaming up to promote creative social activism in Israel. In support of Save our Sea, a grassroots organization that strives to raise awareness of the Dead Sea’s declining ecological health, the pair have organized an overnight gathering and early morning photo shoot (sorry, no nudity this time).

The event scheduled to take place overnight on Thursday September 14th will include an early morning drumming session near the Masada ruins and end with a panel moderated by environmental photographer Roie Galitz.

Rent doubled in 5 years

In June 2011, while looking for a new apartment in Tel Aviv, professional video editor and social activist Daphne Leef found that it was impossible to find accommodation that was within her means. Further research revealed that in the last five years, rents in the metropolitan area have doubled in the last five years.

In protest, the daughter of Israeli composer Inam Leef set up a tent in Habima square and started a Facebook protest page. By the end of the summer, thousands of Israelis joined Daphne’s cause and pitched tents all along Rothschild Boulevard.

Largely overshadowed by the Arab Spring protests and criticized for failing to draw significant attention to the social rights of immigrants and Palestinians, this was nonetheless one of the largest passive protests staged by Israeli citizens since the state was established in 1948.

Leef meets Tunick

Leef has now found her professional soul mate in Spencer Tunick, whose large scale photographic installations have shaken up governments all over the globe.

His naked Dead Sea photo shoot last year was hailed as an enormous success for democracy and accelerated conversations about the Dead Sea, which is threatened by industrial mineral extraction and other environmental factors, though it drew enormous scorn from politicians and religious groups.

So threatened by the event, Knesset member Nissim Zeev introduced the Spencer Tunick bill aimed at outlawing public nudity in Israel. He called Tunick’s installation an “act of prostitution in the guise of art.”

Creative social activism

The creative social activism will begin in Tel Aviv, where a chartered bus will leave for the Dead Sea at 11.30pm September 13th. From 3-5am on September 14th there will be a jam session on the beach. This will be followed by an hour-long opening ceremony, and then from 6-7am, participants will be invited to join a group float in the water.

From 7-9am, a team of photographers will compile individual and group images. And then at 11am, the Prima Oasis hotel will sponsor a salon, which will be moderated by Roie Galitz.

Tickets are NIS 80 with round-trip transportation from Tel Aviv and NIS 40 without. If you’re interested to join, please register on eventbrite.

More on Israel and Spencer Tunick:

Spencer Tunick Photos of Naked Israelis are Worth $2,000

1,000 Israelis Strip Naked to Save the Dead Sea

Naked Dead Sea Picture Released by Spencer Tunick


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