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Eye to Zion
Image: The Northwestern area of the Haram al-Sharif, Jerusalem. Getty Images.

Eye to Zion

Dr. Shimon Lev, The Tower of David Museum Photography Curator

Eye to Zion

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Eye to Zion

Women and Men Photograph Jerusalem, 1839-1970s


As a capital city, a sacred place for Judaism, Islam and Christianity and a fulcrum for political conflict, Jerusalem has long held a special status, unequaled elsewhere in the world, as a focal point for global media interest and photographers.

Unlike photographers in Tel Aviv – with its homogeneous Hebrew culture – Jerusalem’s photographers work in a diverse multicultural, multi-faith environment. This provides them with the vitality that is so essential to a visual language, expressing a complex, multidimensional reality.

The lecture will examine the development of photography in the city from the days of early orientalist photography (starting in 1839) till the early 1970s, when photography was finally accepted as a true art form, with its own unique language.


Shimon Lev is a curator focusing on Jerusalem and photography and a researcher focusing on Indian and Jewish studies. He received his PhD from the Hebrew University, Jerusalem (2016). Apart from his academic activities, Lev has curated and exhibited in numerous solo and group exhibitions in Israel and abroad.

In 2016 he curated the "Camera Man – Women and Men Photographing Jerusalem" exhibition and in 2019 he curated the exhibition “The Mount: Viewing Temple Mount-Haram al-Sharif, 1839-2019” at the Tower of David Museum, Jerusalem (2019-2020). More recently he has curated the permanent gallery in the new upgraded Tower of David Museum (opening June 2023). The next curatorship project focusing on the Western Wall is planned for 2025 in the Tower of David Museum in Jerusalem.

In addition to the exhibitions and catalogs, Lev has published widely in the fields of Indian studies, culture and art. Among his publications: Vesheyodea Lishol (Xhargol, 1998); Soulmates: The Story of Mahatma Gandhi and Hermann Kallenbach (Orient Blackswan, 2012); From Lithuania to Shantiniketan: Schlomith Flaum & Rabindranath Tagore (Lithuanian Embassy in New Delhi, 2018); and “Clear are the Paths of India”: The Cultural and Political Encounter Between Indians and Jews in the Context of their Respective National Movements (Gamma, 2018). He edited the Hebrew edition of Gandhi’s Satyagraha in South Africa (Babel, 2014) and Hind Swaraj (AdamOlam, 2016).


Sunday, May 28, 8 pm Israel /7 pm CET /6 pm UK /1 pm EST


Sunday May 28th 8 Sivan 08:00 - 09:15


Dr. Shimon Lev


Online Zoom Event Map

For whom?

General public





Image: The Northwestern area of the Haram al-Sharif, Jerusalem. Getty Images.