Hilla Dayan, Political Science, The New School, NY.
Barak Kalir, Programme Director of the Master's programme in Social Theory and Public Affairs. Teaching social sciences at the ISHSS, The Netherlands.
Erella Grassiani, Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam. firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.gate48.org
A series of films and discussions around the theme:
“Living with Walls”
In June 2002, the state of Israel decided to erect a wall around itself, calling it a
"separation barrier". The official purpose the state gave for building this barrier
was to separate Israel from the West Bank in order to protect its citizens from
suicide attacks and the like and to control the entry of Palestinians into Israel. To
this day, this "separation barrier" has materialized into a hundreds kilometers
long structure that consists of stretches of eight meter high concrete walls and
electronic fences. This wall at the same time creates a real border between
Palestinians and Israelis, although there has never been any official arrangement
or agreement between the two parties regarding such border. Importantly, most
parts of the wall and fences have been built on confiscated Palestinian lands, not
on Israeli territory. This separation, which has been imposed on both Israelis and
Palestinians by the Israeli government, only leads to more violence and hatred.
However, not only are walls being built between Israeli and Palestinian land, also
within Israel barriers are erected to separate Jews from Palestinians or Bedouins
living in Israel. Much effort is furthermore made to separate groups of “others”,
such as immigrants from the Jewish collective.
Surrounding itself with walls is part of a long process with which Israel has been
secluding itself from the rest of the Middle East in order to protect its Jewish
identity. In November-December 2008 gate48 will organize four screenings and
discussions in Gemak that will draw a tragic portrait of Israel as a state that
prefers to live with walls surrounding and dividing it over getting to know its
neighbors and minority groups; a state that is so fearful of its past as a victim,
that it prefers to become a victimizer. Israel has become a state that builds real
barriers, which in fact stand only as symbols for the mental barriers it has
created over time. The event in Gemak will feature four different instances
where such barriers are created; physical and symbolic.
November 5 2008 08:00 PM
Living with Walls
Film cycle and discussions
To accompany the No Man’s Land? exhibition, Gate48 (www.gate48.org) now presents a film cycle entitled Living with Walls. The main focus of this sequence of films by Israeli directors, each followed by a discussion with an expert, is on the physical and mental barriers within Israel itself and between Israelis and Palestinians. The cycle sketches a portrait of a nation which prefers to take cover behind internal and external walls rather than engage in dialogue with the other side.
Wednesday 5 November, 8.00 p.m.
On the separation regime
Four short films, including Jerusalem Moments and a film by Machsom Watch, followed by a discussion with Hilla Dayan
Wednesday 19 November, 8 p.m.
Paper Dolls (Tomer Heymann), followed by a discussion with Barak Kalir
Wednesday 3 December, 8 p.m.
David and Goliath: portraying a nation under siege
Avenge But One Of My Two Eyes (Avi Mograbi), followed by a discussion with Erella Grassiani
Wednesday 17 December, 8 p.m.
Bridge over the Wadi (Tomer Heymann & Barak Heymann), followed by a discussion with Yael Lerer
Doors open at 19.30. Entrance is free of charge. Drinks available. The films and discussions will be in English.
November 26 2008 08:00 PM
The Remains of Hitler’s Atlantic Wall - Lecture by Rose Tzalmona
Israel has cut itself off from the Palestinian territories by building a vast wall, which people can only get through at a few heavily guarded crossing points. The wall has had far-reaching consequences for many Palestinians, for example preventing them from getting to their workplaces or doing their shopping, or forcing them to leave their homes to make way for its construction. For 28 years, Berlin was similarly divided by a wall that knifed right through the heart of the city, tearing families apart and costing many lives. That wall became a potent symbol of the East-West division of the world.
Walls can keep people in or shut them out. Even The Hague once had one. During the Second World War, the city was part of Hitler’s Atlantic Wall: a complex system of fortifications that stretched along the entire coast of Western Europe from Norway to the Franco-Spanish border. The great barrage of bunkers, forts and gun emplacements was built to protect the Third Reich against an anticipated Allied invasion.
Rose Tzalmona has investigated the origins of the Atlantic Wall in the light of German cultural history, art and architecture. Her research (and her lecture on this occasion) focuses in particular on the process of the wall’s design and construction and its consequences for The Hague. Around a hundred thousand people were evacuated and almost one-third of the city was destroyed to make way for the relevant section of it. Her work examines not only the orders issued by the German military, local political and physical planning decisions, and intelligence work concerning Great Britain, but also the post-war processes of demolishing the bunkers and dealing with – or, indeed, denying – the traumas caused by the war.
Rose Tzalmona graduated from the University of Waterloo (Canada) in 1998 with a project called Herdenking onder vuur (‘Remembrance under Fire’): a theatre piece about the First World War Western Front at Ypres (Dutch: Ieper), Belgium. The following year, the project was exhibited at the Stedelijk Museum in Ieper. Ten years ago, Tzalmona settled in the Netherlands. After several years working in architecture, she began her research project on the Atlantic Wall in 2005. Concerned about the changes in Dutch society following the assassination of Theo van Gogh in 2004, she felt – as a foreigner and a Jew – an obligation to find a way to confront today’s society with the shadow side of the rising tide of nationalism. She began to ask questions about the importance of, lack of and limitations on ‘collective memory’ in relation to the concept of a ‘Dutch identity’ in times of uncertainty. However, she wanted to contribute to the debate not just as an individual citizen, but as an architect. The remains of the Atlantic Wall are particularly important in this context because they are the only surviving examples of Nazi building in the Netherlands. As such, they are the only remaining structures which can provide future generations with tangible evidence of the crimes committed at that time by the occupying power.
The research was partly funded by the Netherlands Foundation for Fine Arts, Design and Architecture (Fonds BKVB).
Venue opens at 7.30 p.m. The lecture will be given in Dutch.
November 28 2008 02:00 PM
Just what is it that makes todays politics so different, so appealing? Could it be entertainment?