Between Seas and Deserts


  • Yosef-Joseph Dadoune



Ofakim, Arab Jews, capitalism, artistic creation, industry and poverty, video, film, history


Brought by his French mother, who was born and raised in French Algeria, Joseph Dadoune was dragged from place to place by her loves and whims, following a detour in Southern France and ending up in Ofakim, Israel. This is where Yosef-Joseph Dadoune was thrown at the age of 6. Ofakim would become the last stage of her tortured life and of her violent and chaotic spiritual quest. The only possible escape route for Dadoune is artistic creation. It is thanks to that expression that he can try to face the demons that haunt him, the anger and the frustration that animate him.

Ofakim, like Netivot and Sderot, was created from scratch to guarantee a continuity of settlement along the border with Gaza. It was created out of purely strategic and geopolitical interest; they were all sacrificed to the Zionist ideology. Stuck between two military bases and a giant waste dump, Ofakim survived until the 1980s with a textile industry that has since disappeared. Unemployment and the geographical, economic and political distance of this ‘urban’ ghost are such that the city is now under trusteeship, managed by a public administrator. A small industrial zone still survives, generating income not for Ofakim but to the surrounding kibbutz community, owners of the land.

Author Biography

Yosef-Joseph Dadoune

Artist and freelance writer, Ofakim

Yosef-Joseph Dadoune was born in 1975 in Nice, France, and immigrated to Israel in 1980 with his mother. The two settled in Ofakim, where he grew up and studied at a local yeshiva, where he still resides. Dadoune works in a range of mediums: photography, installation art, film, and video. He exhibits widely. His recent presentations are LE LOUVRE IMAGINAIRE, Bologna, Italy, (2017); Imago Mundi, from the Benetton Collection, Biennial of the Mediterranean Archipelago, Palermo, Italy (2017).




How to Cite

Dadoune, Y.-J. (2017). Between Seas and Deserts. AM Journal of Art and Media Studies, (14), 157–164.