Qasr al-Sir is a Bedouin village in the Negev desert in southern Israel. Approximately two-thirds of Arab-Bedouin people live in recognized towns and villages and one-third lives in unrecognized villages. The physical infrastructure and public services are underdeveloped; the employment rate is the lowest in Israel, while the education system serving the Negev Bedouin population has failed to sufficiently advance its youth. Over the last decades, Arab-Bedouin society in the Negev has undergone significant transformation. At the heart of the change are cultural institutions and infrastructure, such as family and tribal units, which are undergoing dynamic and intensive transformation. The New Embroidery Promenade was designed by Architect Zvi Pasternak.

It is 800 meters long, with 7 giant 9-foot columns, inspired by the Bedouin embroidery of Qasr al-Sir’s women. At the heart of Pasternak’s design were two main concepts: that of preserving heritage and traditional crafts and that of community as an open museum. The park’s design is unique and aims to be a symbol of Bedouin culture while carrying an educational and cultural message. The conference, which was organized by the M.Ed. program in Art Education and the Center for the Advancement of Shared Society, Beit Berl College, dealt with issues of cultural heritage, community-based Tourism, Bedouin heritage, community as an open museum, and art education in a multicultural society.

Beit Berl College, Faculty of Art – Hamidrasha, December 16, 2019, Qasr al-Sir, Israel

PHOTOS: Impressions of The Conference in Qasr al-Sir (© Chava Brownfield-Stein)



Before the students met each other in tandems, they got to know the project leaders Dr. Chava Brownfield-Stein (Israel) and Dr. Christiane Dätsch (Germany) in two workshops: In February 2020, Dr. Christiane Dätsch visited Beit Berl, Israel, to introduce herself to the Israeli students and to report on the concept of shared heritage in the European and German context. In April 2020, Dr. Chava Brownfield-Stein was scheduled to visit the Institute for Cultural Management in Ludwigsburg, Germany – but because of Corona, the visit took place virtually. She gave the German students an impression of central issues of a "Shared Heritage" in Israel and of important questions of the migration society there. For details on the workshops click on the images.



The project provides two excursions as part of the students’ tandem and research work. In August 2020, the Israeli students should come to Ludwigsburg to meet experts and their German tandem partners for a week. Because of Corona, this arrival had to be virtual – the real trip will be made up for in August 2021. The visit of the German students to Israel will be held as a virtual mini-conference  in March 8, the real excursion will be made up during the first week of October. For details on the excursions click on the images.


At the end of the project, a publication in English is planned, with contributions from students, lecturers and invited experts. It will be launched after the completion of the student lab in summer 2021 and will contain the most important research findings and case studies from the project. The book will be published by an international publishing house.




PHOTO: Baden-Württemberg Stiftung (© Baden-Württemberg Stiftung)