Photographer Elisha Baskin has been declared the winner of Haaretz's first photography contest, "The American Way."
The prize includes a plane ticket to Baskin's destination of choice anywhere in the United States and 1,500 dollars in funding for completing her work on the project.
The prize committee included photojournalist Alex Levac, artist and curator Yair Barak, curator Maya Anner and photographer and Haaret'z photography blog editor Daniel Tchetchik.
According to Tchetchik, Baskin's series is unique in its simplicity.
"The U.S. is a very extreme place, and it's usually looked at in an extreme manner," he said. "Either the glamorous flashes and the plastic world are portrayed, or they show what a difficult and racist country it is."
"Elisha actually brought something very simple, with a disposable camera, gray photos that weren’t taken with a wide lens or with a 7,000-pixel camera. There's something very ordinary both in her work and aesthetics, and I think that this aspiration to catch they gray America, something in the middle that is even hardly critical, something neutral and low-toned, is what captivated us," he said.
Jerusalem-born Baskin, 30, lives in Tel Aviv and studies at the History of Art Department at Tel Aviv University. She has previously worked for human rights groups, and nowadays conducts historic-visual research for artists and filmmakers.
Hundreds of works were submitted to the committee, and eight made it to the final stage. Exhibitions showcasing Baskin and the finalists' works are set to take place in Tel Aviv in winter.