Since I moved from Jerusalem to Aarhus 6 months ago, I have been amazed about the quantity of spaces and organisations that invite you to make connections between very different people. Co-habitation, co-working spaces or co-creation places try to break isolated bubbles – like locals versus foreigners, businesses versus culture, politics versus citizens. One of the organisations here that most impressed me is called ‘The Performing Arts Platform’ (PAP).
When you open its doors, you find an almost motherly attitude towards local artists or any new actor, dancer, performer in the city. If you need a helping hand to integrate to Danish society, you are at the right place. Speak with Charlotte for 10 minutes and she already has five people in mind to whom she could refer you to.
Big success for the 2nd meeting launched by the organisation Kulbroen. The so called Lab Sessions are there to discuss about the future of ‘Sydhavnen’ (the south harbour) in Aarhus. An invitation for citizens to get active and share their opinions.
Seventy people attended the Lab Session “Architecture & Aesthetics at Sydhavnen” on Monday, 5th of March in ‘Bylageret’, Aarhus. This is 30 people more than for the first, which shows the growing interest of citizens to participate in shaping the city. Present were, among others, the architectural group ‘TRANSFORM’. They are the recent winners of the architectural development contest launched by the Municipality, for the ancient, industrial coal bridge, after which the project is named.
New chapter, new city – Aarhus, Denmark. A young pulsing city, not too big but with lots of culture to offer. This first place I am presenting here is very recent, opened June 2017 and run by a young group of whom most are still students. An organisation full of energy and the wish to achieve things: Scenekunsthuset(The House of Performing Arts).
I meet Emma, one of the founders, in an old, abandoned looking building. Former used for military purposes, which explains the aggression marks on the doors, some rooms that still look like a bomb had hit it and a weird graffiti on the wall… Still a lot of work to do since they got the rooms from the city hall to create an open space for upcoming performing artists.
This was my last article for Israel and the Palestinian Territories. I hope you liked it.
There are still so many things I haven’t spoken about, for ex. “The Hansen House” in Jerusalem, Art and Culture in Tel Aviv, or the underground Arabic culture scene in Haifa… but for Jerusalem’s both sides, I think I covered the most.
Most of all, I wish that seeing what other people create and the energy they give to projects, will inspire others to dare do the same with their ideas and dreams.
Thank you for all the beautiful encounters I experienced here. Thanks for the time shared with me, a stranger and maybe now a friend…
“The Palestinian centre is in Ramallah.” This is a sentence you will often hear here. Like on the Israeli side you have – go to Tel Aviv, on the Palestinian side you hear – go to Ramallah! While Arabic artistic structures in Jerusalem start feeling like ‘satellites’ , the art and culture scene in Ramallah is continuously growing.
The major place to mention is the Khalil Sakakini Cultural Centre. Once also the office of the famous poet Mahmoud Darwish, it is an independent structure showing regular exhibitions of local and international artists, making conferences, yoga classes, workshops, film projections, festivals, like the 3 days festival of video art and performance “si:n” and above all raising questions on the Palestinian identity. For example in the solo exhibition “O, Whale Don’t Swallow Our Moon” of the artist Jumana Emil Abboud.
Some might know the sentence: In Haifa you work, in Tel Aviv you Party and in Jerusalem you pray. It’s true that every city has her own spirit, but many underestimate the strength that lies in Jerusalem through its variety of people. A village feeling in a big city, where people know one another and are easy-going. There is a special atmosphere which places like Bait Alliance help to create. A place not spoken about here yet, as difficult to seize by the amount of divers activities.
We find today a hub of art and culture places that rethink their way of dissimulating art and the interaction with the public. Spaces that interrogate their integration in society. Museums and Art Centres face the problem of being seen as a white cube, a world apart for selected people, so new ideas come up.
On the rooftops in the Old City of Jerusalem. Photo by Majd Zughayer. Courtesy of Al Hoash.
Alia Rayyan, the director of Al HoashGallery of the last 2 years, decided to focus their concept on art and social, corresponding in her eyes more to the local need. The event “RE/viewing Jerusalem” is created. Once a year international and local artists work together on a project. The projects aims to make people rediscover forgotten places in Jerusalem and to bring back life to them, thanks to participative interaction between the artists and the public.