“Kibbutznik/Kibbutzim”, 2019 | Sophia Spring





Sophia Spring is a portrait and travel photographer living and working in London. She has worked with or been published by companies such as The Sunday Times Magazine, The New York Times, Channel 4 and Vogue. Sophia has also done a number of professional portraits and photographed people such as Johnny Marr, Russell Tovey, John Torode and Hillary Clinton.

We spoke to Sophia about her two part series “Kibbutznik/Kibbutzim”.

At the end of the Second World War, persecuted Jews travelled to Israel to begin a new life. Here, in the dusty landscape, these refugees toiled the land, built infrastructure and created communities based on socialist and egalitarian principles.

And so the ‘Kibbutz’ (the plural being Kibbutzim) was born.

These new models of living were once a relevant and dynamic part of Israeli life. But recent years has seen the closure and part-privatisation of kibbutzim across Israel, as many of the young leave to make a life in the (increasingly capitalist) cities outside of their rural settlements.

256 kibbutzim still survive, with varying degrees of success. I spent time at 12 of these; from the original kibbutz to the newest, the most religious to the most liberal, from the traditional to the alternative.

The first part of the series, ‘Kibbutzim’, is a series of images of a dozen Kibbutzim across Israel; from the border with Lebanon, the outskirts of Jerusalem, rural Galillee, the Negev Desert and the land lying alongside the Gaza strip.

The second part of the series is a series of portraits of ‘Kibbutznik’ - people living in Kibbutz - including a survivor of Bergen Belsen, a Texan cowboy called Ron, a vet, a Buddhist, an ornithologist, Scandinavian volunteers and many more.

To see more of Sophia’s work, visit http://www.sophiaspring.com/
All images and text © Sophia Spring