Dead Water: Kibuts Kalia

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.
[dropcap]K[/dropcap]ibuts 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. Stirling has never had the chance of experiencing Kalia’s Atraktzia personally, and yet she grew up knowing of a miraculous fantastic oasis in the middle of nowhere.

Years after, one of Stirling’s trips down south she had her 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 waterless. After doing some research it came to her 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 17 years, it stands empty.

The stories of others , on which she based her memories , of the place she has never visited , were far from the place she could now see for herself. And yet, she still felt nostalgic in regards to the fall of the attractions from its glory; not owning even one true memory of Atraktzia haven’t prevented her from yearning its past.

As she photographed the park it became smaller, paler and lifeless.

In this body of work she does not try and recreate the park, or resurrect it, but document a place that so many people had strong feeling towards, as children, and try and understand that glorious period that she myself had never got to experience.

About the author:
Dana Stirling is a fine art photographer, and the Co-Founder of Float Photo Magazine. Born in Jerusalem, Israel 1989, and based in Queens, NY ; Received her MFA from The School Of Visual Arts in 2016 and her BA from Hadassah College Jerusalem in 2013. Stirling’s work has been exhibited internationally including Fresh Paint Art Fair in Tel Aviv, UNICEF Next Generation Photo Benefit at Aperture Foundation NY, “A Process – Der Greif” in Neue Galerie, Höhmannhaus Germany, Google photography Prize at Saatchi Gallery London UK, Brick Lane Gallery, London UK and Tel Hai Museum of Photography Israel.

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