I have a substantial number of photo-books. This is a log of the books that I most frequently take off the shelf .
This book examines the problematic question of Israeli settlement on the West Bank. The book shows portraits of the topography and settlers who inhabit this contested region. The whole work is the product of several years photography by Waplington.
What I like about ‘Settlement’ is the sense of the seeming normality of the people in the photographs against the harshness of the terrain. We feel their commitment to this land all the more because we can see what a hard life they seem to have. Presumably many of them have arrived from much more comfortable existences.
I’m challenged by the book because against the ordinariness of the terrain and the people is the massive question of their right to be there in the first place.
I did a quick survey of the images and found that of the 39 families shown there were an average of 3.5 children per family of which 74 were girls and 63 were boys. This is interesting because not only is the birthrate much higher than in normal western countries there is a 15% predominance of girls over boys being born. In population terms that is a huge anomaly where international data shows women outnumber men by only 1% normally.
Here’s a link for more information on the book.