The Rebecca Vassie Trust is delighted to announce the first exhibition of new photographic work created through the Rebecca Vassie Memorial Award. Shot entirely on film, ‘Adiga: Circassians in Israel’ is an arresting collection exploring Israel's little-known ethnic Circassian population.
Displaced from the Caucasus region in the nineteenth century, the Circassian diaspora spread through Europe and the Middle East. One group settled in what is now Israel; today, a population of 3,000 Circassians resides in Kfar Kama, a small town near the Sea of Galilee.
Emerging British photographer James Arthur Allen, winner of the first Rebecca Vassie Memorial Award, used the £1,200 bursary to travel to Kfar Kama and spend time among the Circassian people.
In the resulting photographs, a blend of formal portraiture and semi-urban landscapes, Allen explores how the Circassians ‒ who are Sunni Muslims ‒ have integrated into Israeli society, while at the same time retaining a fierce sense of cultural independence.
Examining a cross-section of people and settings, the work counterpoints modernity and tradition, with particular emphasis on how younger generations stay in touch with older customs.
James Arthur Allen says: “It is a real privilege for me to able to show my work ‘Adiga' in London and to be able to tell the story of the Circassian diaspora in Israel. Working alongside the Trust and its partners I’m looking forward to putting on an ambitious and dynamic exhibition.”
Print partner: Metro Imaging