Gili Yaari photographs the Purim celebration in Ultra-Orthodox Jerusalem

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Purim celebrations tumble from places of worship and community centres on to public streets in a cascade of drunkenised merriment unique to the Ultra-Orthodox. “It was an amazing, exciting experience. I can remember standing there and thinking to myself: ‘I am in Mea Shearim, a 10-minute walk from Jerusalem’s secular centre, with its restaurants and bars and cafés, and find myself in a completely different world, a different time.”

As a freelance photojournalist, often on assignment for the Jerusalem-based news agency Flash90, Yaari feels strongly that there is an urgent need to document the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict – the shelling, the terror attacks, the death of civilians – from a historical perspective and not just as a humanitarian issue: “Documenting life in Israel, and the human side of the stories, gives me a sense of urgency – like I am on a historical mission. Sometimes I feel that my camera is only an excuse for me to go out and explore issues.”

For more of Gili Yaari’s work, go to his website

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