I was born in Israel in 1984, raised by an American mother and an Israeli father.

When I was 12 years old my father told me that I have an older brother named James, who lives in Australia. My father and James at the point had been sending each other letters for a number of years, however they had yet to meet or hear one another’s voice.

I was uncomfortable being the eldest grandchild on both sides of my family,

I became obsessed with the possibility of an older brother.

I never had the chance to meet James, he committed suicide in October 1996.

This work is my attempt to create a portrait of my brother whom I will never meet — photographing the “unphotographable” by following the traces and echoes of his existence after his passing.

Thanks to the Tierney Fellowship I received in 2009, I traveled across Australia to meet James's family, who thankfully accepted me as one of their own.

The work I created consists of family snapshots, letters and quotes from conversations, alongside my own images taken in Israel and Australia.

— Ayala Gazit


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