videos by
photographer Eitan Simanor

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Here you will find short videos as teasers to my presentations

Easter celebrations in Jerusalem

A visual account of Easter Week in Jerusalem, including the inspiring Palm Sunday and Good Friday processions on Mount of Olives and along the Via Dolorosa till the Holy Sepulcher, in Jerusalem Old City.

The Easter Week is gradually bringing more and more Christian pilgrims from abroad to Jerusalem, transforming the city into a week long, colorful and spiritual pilgrimage site!

Easter celebrations in Jerusalem

 

The Western Wall

The Western Wall: the holiest shrine for the Jewish People and Judaism. According to tradition, this is the closest place to the Holy of Holy, the holiest space inside the Jewish Temple which stood on the Temple Mount, above.

The Western Wall draws thousands of visitors and pilgrims from all over the world, not only Jews. The place is awe inspiring, no one remains indifferent to the spiritual and religious atmosphere which prevails 24/7, with a never ending flow of people reciting prayers, inserting notes in cracks or simply meditating. 

The wall itself is an impressive engineering achievement from the 1st century BCE, with its massive and superb stone blocks, beautifully cut, part of a gigantic project by king Herod.

In this video I try to take a casual approach, not focusing exclusively on the spiritual experience of the visitor to the Western Wall.

the Western Wall

 

variations on the roof

Roughly in the middle of the Old City of Jerusalem lies a large flat roof. Tourists reach out to admire the panorama and find their bearings among the prominent city landmarks. 

 

The view is inspiring but disturbed, with famous features, such as the Golden Dome and the Mount of Olives, emerging among satellite dishes, water tanks, lamp posts, air shafts, guard rails and improvised corrugated sheds. The roof also serves as the main access to a Jewish Talmudic school and compound.

All the pictures on this video have been taken from the very same roof, only slightly changing view points and fields of view. The ambiance in each frame is mainly the result of changing light according to the time of the day and passing seasons.

variations on the roof

 

Adagio molto e mesto

a wintery and thoughtful visit through Jerusalem Old City 

Adagio molto e mesto

 

Jerusalemites

A informal reflection on what it is to be a Jerusalemite: what it means? how it feels? what it implies?

Indeed! Jerusalem is not a straightforward city: not only is it a holy city but it is also a city at the heart of a conflict, with a wealth of highly controversial and sensitive issues, with a complicated passed, with boiling feelings, with a heavy load of shrines and sanctuaries, of symbols, of scars and open wounds, with a coveted Old City, with many urban challenges, with a hilly topography, with a large children population, with much energy and high aspirations and much more...

All the answers to the above questions in this thoughtful video.

Jerusalemites

 

The Old City in Jerusalem

In the Old City of Jerusalem tensions and emotions are high. But the degree of discord remains a constant undercurrent. The Jerusalemites have learnt to adapt to a complex reality and to ignore its grating aspects. De facto and despite difficult times, the different communities have been mostly co-existing for generations. 

The Old City spreads out on no more than one square km behind classified Ottoman fortified walls. It resembles an exuberant theatre set, textured like an ancient parchment covered with Holy Scriptures over which endless graffiti has been scribbled.

And there is more to the Old City of Jerusalem.  Most visuals describing the city and its human fabric inevitably encompass an iconic dimension, a dialogue between the subconscious and some of the more universal cultural landmarks. It is undoubtedly to do with the fact that Jerusalem enjoys a Holy Destiny… but more prosaically it is linked to the fact that within the nations who's cultures are impregnated with monotheistic affinities, all individuals share a sizable collection of concepts and images acquired from their close surrounding, from their exposure to education, to art, culture or entertainment and from their own relationship with faith.

This video is an informal attempt to inquire the above.

The Old City in Jerusalem

 

The church of the Holy Sepulcher

Large numbers of visitors from all continents make the trip to visit the Holy Sites in the Land of Jesus. A tour of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher is one of the spiritual highlights of the journey.

 

Yet, the Sanctuary, although awe-inspiring, has become a tourist attraction with its inevitable crowds and perpetual agitation. It is shared between several Christian churches in complicated arrangements, the result of tensions and power struggles.

Pilgrims come a long way to walk in the very last steps of Jesus. This visit is of great significance to them. How does the physical journey coexist with the spiritual one?

the church of the Holy Sepulcher

 

The Bab-al-Rahma Muslim cemetery

The Bab al-Rahmah cemetery or Cemetery of the Gate of Mercy, is a Muslim cemetery located along the Eastern Wall of the Haram al-Sharif (Temple Mount).

 

This choice for a burial grounds probably reflects theological beliefs concerning the last judgment and resurrection connected to the Mount of Olives and the al-Sirat bridge, the bridge which every human must pass on the "Day of Resurrection" to enter Paradise. It is said that it is thinner than a strand of hair and as sharp as the sharpest sword...

 

The as-Sirat marker is allegedly located near the southern end of the eastern wall, part of the Bab al-Rahmah cemetery. It is believed to be the place where the al-Sirat bridge will be hung

the Bab-al-Rahma Muslim cemetery

 

Jerusalem - a short introduction

A short video as an introduction to different aspects of Jerusalem.

Jerusalem - a short introduction

 

Bhutan 

Bhutan, daily life and Dzongs

Bhutan

 

Spiti Valley (Indian Himalayas)

daily life and Gompas (Tibetan style monasteries)

Spiti Valley (Indian Himalayas)

 
 

Along the Barigonga river in Dhaka - Bangladesh

daily life along sadarghat (Dhaka slums)

Along the Barigonga river in Dhaka - Bangladesh

 

Minneapolis - city of pioneers

A short video to celebrate the city of Minneapolis and its inhabitants, blessed with the mighty Mississippi river flowing through downtown and with a series of natural lakes which the original settlers took great care to conserve and maintain, creating a thick “Green belt” of lakes and woods right inside the city, called the Grand Rounds. 

Minneapolis - city of pioneers

Lalibela - Ethiopia

The eleven medieval cave churches of Lalibela or so called 'New Jerusalem' are situated in a mountainous region in the heart of Ethiopia. It is a high place of Ethiopian Christianity, of pilgrimage and devotion. 

 

The churches are monolithic, carved from a sloping mass of red volcanic scoria underlaid by dark grey basalt. They differ in style and shape. A maze of tunnels and passages connect between them. 

I spent a week photographing the worship ceremonies which take place daily from 3.00AM till mid-morning.

Lalibela - Ethiopia

 

the Irrawaddy delta - Burma (Myanmar)

The Irrawaddy river crosses the country of Myanmar from north to South, flowing in the end into the bay of Bengal, as one of the largest delta in the world, one of the most pristine too!

The delta region plays a crucial role in the cultivation of rice, vegetable and other crops in rich alluvial soil. It also hosts large fishing communities with plenty of fish in the rivers and crabs along the mangrove.

This video is a visual account of a trip by public boat, deep into the delta.

the Irrawaddy delta - Burma (Myanmar)

 
 

Aswan - Egypt

Aswan was a stopover on a trip across East Africa, from Alexandria (Egypt) till Mozambique in Southern Africa.

I ended up spending an entire week in Aswan, waiting for a visa to Sudan. This is the result...

Aswan - Egypt

 

The road to Gilgit, Hunza - Pakistan

A challenging road trip along part of the Karakoram highway, crossing Kohistan into Hunza, a remote part of Northern Pakistan. 

The road to Gilgit, Hunza - Pakistan

One shoah, two destinies

The story of the survival struggle of two German Jewish families (Simons & Simmenauer) during the Holocaust.

"Shoah", a Hebrew word which, when used in an English context, refers specifically to the fate of the Jews during the Nazi regime. 

One Shoah, two destinies