Designed to Kill

Each of these seemingly mundane objects conceals a deadly secret.

They are all bombs or, rather, re-creations of bombs made by the Israeli Police Force’s Bomb Disposal Unit and based on designs used in actual attacks. The models are housed in an informal museum in Jerusalem that reveals where they were used and how many people were injured or killed. While bomb detection becomes more advanced in the Middle East, so too do the methods used to disguise these deadly creations: re-made here using papier-mâché, wood, wire and found objects.

These disquieting images form part of documentary photographers Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin’s latest book, Chicago: an investigation into the many myths surrounding contemporary Israel where, frequently, things aren’t quite as they first appear.

Also featured are images of Mini Israel, a huge scale model of the country’s holy sites, hotels and nature parks which acts as a tourist attraction. The book’s title refers to the artificial Arab town built at Tze’elim Military Base in the Negev Desert where the Israeli Defence Force has rehearsed military operations for over 30 years. Essentially a practice ground for inner-city warfare (the architecture is based on Palestinian towns such as Ramallah and Nablus) the first half of this fascinating book reveals the disturbing atmosphere of this entirely fabricated town.

Chicago is published by steidlMACK at £30. See


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