A punk and hardcore music scene often emerges from a place of discontent with the state. Israel is one of these places, where discontent is a part of daily life. The punk scene in Tel Aviv started getting roots in the 80s and kept on evolving as a form of activism and resistance. Many of the younger generation in Israel are against or disagrees with the state’s political views and actions in the conflict with Palestine. This disconnection to their leaders led to a politicalized group of teen and youth coming together in bands, collectives and venues where they could play their music. It started with a small group but evolved to become a subculture that still lives in Tel Aviv.
Zina explains that the 90s felt like the high point of the scene. There where lots of squatting, demonstrations and she lived in an occupied house with other youths. People used punk as an instrument to show a political standpoint and criticize the state, as is being done in most punk and underground scenes around the world. Today, there are less and less of this political activity and she understands why people lose the hope for change. The Israeli state is stronger than ever and the hope that anyone is listening is staring to fade. Many find it hopeless to work with political activities like demonstrations and campaigns.
In Israel, mandatory military service for three years is a big part of the scene. This means that teens between 18-21 must fight for their country, no choices. How this has affected the scene and its evolution over the years, is crucial. People form bands in their teens but has to break them up for military service. The effect is a big turnover on bands. Some give up, few continues after service, this keeps the scene purely youth driven. The objections towards being a punk or different in the Holy Land has also been a factor and the affect it could have on one’s prospects plays a role. It can be balancing act and many youths drops out of the scene in fear of the consequences.
Today the scene revolves around a small amount of venues, two of these are; Zimmer and Koro. Zimmer is a more underground DIY, bohemian place. They arrange after school activities for refugee kids and have some punk shows in the weekends. But the “Call for Boycott” movement has a bittersweet effect on the scene. Bands from around the world take political standpoint on not traveling or supporting Israel, which effects even the small underground scene like this. On the flipside, this has made the scene purely DYI and created bands that are unique for the region.
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The entrence of Koro a punk bar in Tel Aviv.
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Signs in the streets of Tel Aviv.
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Zina and her boyfriend going to the market.
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Art form a squatted collective apartment, where a few punks live in Tel Aviv..
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Activist from a demonstration, outside of Hebron.
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Zina painting flowers in her house in the desert outside of Tel Aviv.
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A drummer at a demonstration, outside of Hebron.
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Katya and her boyfriend in their apartment in Tel Aviv.
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The man that tried to break in to the bar Koro is henging on the fridge in the bar.
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Gad producing a single in the bar Koro, that also functions as a music production studio.
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Misha in the alternative bar Zimmer, Tel Aviv. He is helping setting up fore a film screening
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Portrait of David, one of the 80s punk that started the scene in Israel.
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Some of the punk music produced in the 80s.
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One of the vocalists in the hardcore battle at the Koro. The band 03 is playing against Dust.
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Drummer of Dust with helmet.
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Tattoo from a concert at Koro.
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Dangers from the states play in Koro.
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A young boy do the, Punk dance, dance, dance. During a concert in Koro.
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Portrait of Gutzy, a drummer in the Tel Aviv punk scene.
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Guys at punk show in Koro.
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Girl on the shoulders of another, at the band City Rats show in the Koro.
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A portrait of Daniel on the stage in Koro. He is a LGBTQ+ activist in the punk scene here.
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The vocalist of Dust in a concert in Koro.
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Girl sitting on floor during a show in Koro.
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Guy watching show.
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Two guy's having a break between concerts in Koro.