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Nino Herman, Café Albi


Café Albi is more than your average coffee-shop. It’s a place to meet, a home, a venue in which to entertain guests, a conference room. Unofficial committees on social activism, culture and the soul convene there regularly. The café is located at the heart of sweaty south Tel Aviv, a part of the metropolis that is as colorful and vivacious as it is neglected and run-down. The view from the windows is of bustling filth, but Café Albi provides a platform for the inhabitants – artists, hippies and migrant workers – to voice their outcries and mold them into actions.

Over the last few years I have been documenting the regular customers of this café, capturing the relationships formed between various people from a wide range of communities. It seems their common denominator is the desire to sanctify humaneness without being judgmental or condescending. In each and every ingredient comprising the café menu there is a taste of sensitivity and respect for man and the environment.

To me it feels like home. Café Albi represents a sane alternative to the ostentatious, alien vibe found in other parts of this city. As a photographer, it is an experience of greater intimacy and understanding between people that requires no words. Here, I am never alone.

Nino Herman

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