Dead Water echo $NewDate; ?> A photography project by Dana Stirling
The Dead Sea is a salt lake with no way out. Surrounding this unique lake grew an industry of pleasure, beauty, healing and myth. People come from all over the world to experience the wonder of the Dead Sea. Kibuts Kalia is one of many small cooperative settlements, hotels and resorts, along the sea that have tried to form a haven from the desert’s abyss. Kalia was well known for their water amusement park, the Atraktzia (attraction – word that was borrowed from English), as an oasis of sweet water in the sea of death.
Many Israeli’s share memories of Atraktzia as part of their tradition of family vacations and weekends. I have never had the chance of experiencing Kalia’s Atraktzia myself, and yet I grew up knowing of a miraculous fantastic oasis in the middle of nowhere. Years after, In one of my trips down south I had my first encounter with Atraktzia. It was hot, dry and colorless, a pale refection of its past glory. The once amazing water park stood empty, abandon and water less.
After doing some research it came to my knowledge that in the year 2000 the water park was shutdown due to the politic tension in the area as well as financial and legal problems. Since then, for 13 years, it stands empty. The stories of others, on which I based my memories, of the place I have never visited, were far from the place I could have now see for myself. And yet, I still feel nostalgic in regards to the fall of the attractions from its glory; not owning even one true memory of Atraktzia haven’t prevented me from yearning its past. As I photographed the park it became smaller, paler and lifeless. In this body of work I do not try to recreate the park, or resurrect it, but document a place that so many people had strong feeling to, as children, and try and understand that glorious period that me myself had never got to experience.