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Israeli photographer Oded Balilty has spent the past decade covering events in Israel and the Palestinian territories for the Associated Press. Born in Jerusalem, in 1979, Balilty was awarded the Pulitzer prize for breaking news photography in 2007 for his image of a lone Jewish settler challenging Israeli security officers during clashes in the West Bank settlement of Amona. Although Balilty continues to document the Israeli-Palestinian conflict—from daily clashes to more long term work that includes a seven year project shooting the separation barrier—he has also trained his lens on the quieter and more intimate aspects of street life in and around Tel Aviv, where he is based.

“This region is so saturated by pictures from the conflict so you always look for different stories and events,” says Balilty, who has begun several series on cultural themes within Israel. Since January, the photographer has produced essays on the ultra orthodox communities, including a series on a traditional Hasidic Jewish wedding near Tel Aviv, as well as the funeral of Rabbi Moshe Yehoshua Hager, leader of the Hasidic sect Vizhnitz. and, over the last few days, the preparations for the Passover holiday, which began on Friday evening. “I try to go deeper and deeper into a story to capture things that outsiders do not know about this particular group of people,” he says.

In the same way that he’s trying to find different stories and make different pictures, Balilty says he’s trying to be a different photographer, too. “If I see photographers in one corner, I go away,” he says. “There is no need to take the same picture as five other good photographers. I’m tying to isolate myself and show the story from different angles, not only visually but mentally, to find small, quite moments within a big a crazy story.”

Balilty describes his work as something between art photography and a photojournalism—which is fitting, given the scope of his coverage of Israel. “I’m trying to tell stories with my pictures, but the aesthetics and the way I see things are very important for me,” he says. “The first and most important thing for me is to tell the story.”

And despite his foray into cultural coverage, Balilty maintains his finely-tuned process, approach and aesthetic when photographing more traditional news stories. When a gunman killed seven people in front of a Jewish school in Toulouse, France, last month, Balilty was on hand to document the emotional return of the victim’s bodies to Jerusalem. And as with times past, Balilty handled the assignment with delicate sensibility and artistic intent, elevating his work above the general images typically seen on the wires.

Oded Balilty is a photographer for the Associated Press. He is based in Tel Aviv.

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TEDxDanubia 2011 -- Françoise Chatelin - Mathematics of Life

Françoise Chatelin is a Professor of Mathematics at the University of Toulouse 1 Capitole and head of the Qualitative Computing group at the Centre Européen de Recherche et de Formulation Avancée en Calcul Scientifique (Cerfacs) in Toulouse, France. Her expertise ranges from spectral theory for linear operations in Banach spaces to finite precision computation of very large eigenproblems. She currently investigates the mathematical ways by which the human mind builds its image of the world. In thespirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)
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The Gift of Gift of Program recently purchased an image by Northern Ireland photographer, Clare Gallagher, for the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston collection.

Clare Gallagher was born in Northern Ireland and studied photography in London, Canterbury, Toulouse and Belfast, earning an MFA photography with distinction. Her work has been exhibited in Belfast, Dublin, Montpellier, London and Houston and will be shown later this year in Bratislava and Delhi. Clare is also a shortlisted artist for Saatchi’s New Sensations 2011. Clare is a photography lecturer living in Northern Ireland and is currently working on a project on weeds, with support from the Arts Council NI.

This image was selected for the Gift of Gift of Program:





















Domestic Drift is concerned with everyday life - the ordinary activities, states of mind and conditions of existence that fill time outside the moments of drama and spectacle. I am interested in working with the sense of ordinariness inherent in the repetitive, habitual work of home while trying to appreciate the experience as simultaneously mundane and precious. The everyday is complex terrain. It is always there, readily and universally available; surely it is so obvious that it needs no unveiling. And yet it is also shrouded in haze, our sense of it dulled by familiarity and habit. It may induce a feeling of comfort in simple rituals or of imprisonment in tedious routine.





















Ambivalence is a central experience of everydayness but that quality also means it is difficult to define, depict and study. While the ordinary and unremarkable constitute the fabric of much of life, our attention is lured away from the quotidian toward the dramatic and exotic. This privileging of the apparent over the obscure fuels the fragmentation of everyday life and creates an impression that those parts of life lived away from the public arenas of street, workplace and media are unproductive and insignificant. The result of this “triviality barrier” is that the most ordinary, familiar parts of daily life, while seeming the most present and obvious, are often disconnected from our sensory perceptions and conscious thoughts. We are at risk of missing out a significant portion of our experience that is ever-present yet escapes attention.






















Inspired by Guy Debord's Theory of the Dérive, I began by following his directions:
In a dérive, one or more persons during a certain period drop their usual motives for movement and action, their relations, their work and leisure activities, and let themselves be drawn by the attractions of the terrain and the encounters they find there.

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Reports that a dog accompanied the Navy Seals' raid on Osama bin Laden's Pakistan compound created a wave of interest in the animals and their training. Almost 3000 dogs are in use by the American military. Other dogs have been in the news lately as well, with sniffer dogs searching for bombs in sensitive areas in the wake of the raid. Sniffer dogs were also deployed to search for victims of the tornados in the American South. Dogs were in headlines for other reasons recently too, as several hundred were rescued in China, street dogs were being killed in Kosovo and Romania, and luxury dog hotels opened in Europe and North America. A luxury hotel would be a welcome change for those dogs abandoned in Japan in the wake of the earthquake and tsunami and nuclear disaster. And in the middle of all of this, the International Dog Show in Szivasvarad, Hungary showed off pampered purebreds. Collected here are pictures of working dogs, rescued dogs, those suffering the effects of natural disasters, and several others. -- Lane Turner (34 photos total)
A military working dog outfitted with its own equipment and light heads up the steps of a building in this undated handout image from a company which manufactures a range of specialized gear that includes high-tech canine flak jackets and tactical body armor. The equipment provides real time video feedback and night vision capabilities. (K9 Storm Inc./Handout/Reuters)

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