Photo Of Tomer Ifraha.
Women’s prison “Neve tirza” (Nerve Triza) is located in the Israeli city of Ramla and has a capacity of 200 prisoners, aged 18 to 70 years. These few hundred represent only a small fraction of the total population of Israel — about 20-25 thousand people.
Photographer Tomer Ifrah (Tomer Ifrah) from tel Aviv had access to visit the prison in 2011. At that time, he worked as a reporter, and his original assignment was to do a portrait of one prisoner. After staying there for women and when you are finished, Ifrah later returned to prison.
For three months the photographer every week at least one day spent in a women’s prison, listened to and recorded the stories of a punishment.
“Prisoners have different backgrounds, belong mainly to the powerless national minority. They have to live side by side in close confinement. Most women are serving second and third terms — they are not able to break out of this vicious circle”.
In 1979, the former prisoner “Neve tirza” Ramea Odeh (Rasmiah Odeh), a Palestinian convicted of two bombings, gave evidence to the UN Committee on Israel and human rights.
She saw a cell lived 150 women, some of them with children.
The prisoners were deprived of the right to freedom of expression, they collected any letters where they wrote about their condition.
Jews and Muslims did not share. Because of this, there were conflicts.
Practiced collective punishment, including beatings, the use of gas, the deprivation of visits from relatives and friends.
The photographer said: “Women hold 5-6 people in the chamber. Just imagine a tiny camera that you have to share with five inmates. From 7 PM until the morning close the door. The rest of the time you can go, but there are a lot more prisoners. Of course, constantly there are conflicts and fights.”
“Many should not even be there, they need psychiatric help. Most were not born in Israel, came from Russia, Ethiopia or South America.”
Photographer back in “Neve tirza” again in 2014, and shot a hopeful series about the first fashion show organised by female prisoners.
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