The Mixed Marriage

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Arts, Family/Parenting, Interviews, Media Archive, Religion, United States on 2014-01-12 16:18Z by Steven

The Mixed Marriage

The New York Times

Interview by Lise Funderburg

Lise Funderburg, a journalist, interviewed Yael Ben-Zion, a photographer raised in Israel, about her new book, “Intermarried,” published by Kehrer, which features families from the Washington Heights neighborhood where she lives with her French husband and 5-year-old twins.

Q. What inspired this project?

A. I saw an Israeli television campaign that showed faces on trees and bus stops, like missing children ads. A voice-over said, “Have you seen these people? Fifty percent of young Jewish people outside of Israel marry non-Jews. We are losing them.” I happen to be married to a person who is not Jewish. And, so for me it was, “Aah, they’re losing me.” I’m not religious, but this campaign made me wonder more generally why people choose to live with someone who is not from their immediate social group, and what challenges they face.

Q. How did you establish your taxonomy for what qualified as mixed?

A. I wasn’t going to go in the street and ask couples if they were mixed. I didn’t grow up here; I didn’t even know what terminology to use. But I live in a very diverse Manhattan community that has an online parent list with more than 2,000 families on it. I put up an ad saying I was looking for couples that define themselves as mixed. I said it could be different religion, ethnicity or social background. I didn’t use the word race, because I wasn’t sure how politically correct that was. All the couples who responded are either interfaith or interracial or both, but my goal from the beginning wasn’t to create some statistical visual document. For example, I have hardly any Asian people, and I don’t think there are any Muslims, and the reason is that they didn’t approach me…

Read the entire interview and view the slide shows here.

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Posted in Arts, Books, Family/Parenting, Media Archive, Monographs, Religion, United States on 2014-01-12 15:59Z by Steven


Kehrer Verlag Heidelberg
128 pages
57 color ills.
24 x 29.5 cm
Hardcover ISBN 978-3-86828-418-8

Photography by: Yael Ben-Zion

Text by: Amy Chua, Maurice Berger, Yael Ben-Zion

Yael Ben-Zion uses photography and text to reflect on intermarriage.

Following her award-winning monograph 5683 miles away (Kehrer 2010), in Intermarried Yael Ben-Zion fixes her camera on another personal but politically charged theme: intermarriage. Ben-Zion initiated the project in 2009 by contacting an online parent group in Washington Heights, her Manhattan neighborhood, inviting couples who define themselves as “mixed” to participate. Her own marriage “mixed,” she was interested in the many challenges faced by couples who choose to share their lives regardless of their different origins, ethnicities, races or religions.

Through layered images and revealing texts (including excerpts from a questionnaire she asked her subjects to fill out), Intermarried weaves together fragments of reality to compose a subtle narrative that deals with the multifaceted issues posed by intermarriage.

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Dimensions Variable: Multiracial Identity

Posted in Arts, Live Events, Media Archive, United States on 2013-04-23 20:25Z by Steven

Dimensions Variable: Multiracial Identity

RUSH Arts Gallery
526 West 26th St, #311
New York, New York
Phone: 212-691-9552
2013-04-04 through 2013-05-10

Opening Reception: Thursday, 2013-04-04, 18:00-20:00 EDT (Local Time)
Artist Talk: Saturday, 2013-05-04, 16:00-18:00 EDT (Local Time)

Firelei Báez, Yael Ben-Zion, Cecile Chong, Dennis Redmoon Darkeem, Nicky Enright, Lorra Jackson, Sara Jimenez, and Saya Woolfalk

Curated by Gabriel de Guzman

The 2010 census shows a 32 percent increase since 2000 of Americans who identify themselves as belonging to a multiracial background. They represent the growing multiracial diversity that has become more evident in our country and in our communities during the Obama era. Dimensions Variable: Multiracial Identity features artists whose work expresses various aspects of their diverse, yet highly individual backgrounds. The exhibition attempts to move beyond the polarized discussions of race and identity politics of the 1980s and 90s and past the limitations imposed by political correctness. It also contests the idea of a “post-racial” society presented by political commentators after the election of Barack Obama. In the four years since the biracial president’s first inauguration, race has remained a critical and contentious topic in national politics. Challenging a monolithic view of race, this exhibition examines contemporary issues of identity, hybridism, and racial ambiguity. At times the artists in the show directly tackle issues that relate to race and cultural awareness. At other times, the artists deal with these issues subtly by acknowledging the spread of multiculturalism in our global society and the ways in which race and ethnicity are fluid and dependent upon perception and context…

Read the entire announcement here.

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