THE CONFERENCE “CONVERSING EMBROIDERIES”
Beit Berl College, Faculty of Art – Hamidrasha, December 16, 2019, Qasr al-Sir, Israel
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.
SHARED AND/ OR CONTRADICTORY HERITAGE?
Virtual students‘ conference, March 8, 2021
At the end of the Students' Lab, six German and seven Israeli students presented their results at a virtual conference. The first section was focused on questions of material heritage using the example of the World Heritage Site "White City" in Tel Aviv (Barak Ravitz and Elfi Carle) and the estate of the photographer Liselotte Grschebina in the Israel Museum, Jerusalem (Orly Zimerman). The second section compared the role of war memorials (Sapir Barel and Vanessa Spindler) for German and Israeli national memory culture, as well as the function of GermanJewish heritage for
collective German identity (Hannah Schulz, Sophia Baur).
The third section examined the role of intangible cultural heritage through the work of the Dawn Multicultural Theater in Tel Aviv (Sigal Peres) and Daniel Darenboim's West Eastern Divan Orchestra (Kinnereth Suissa, Kai Erdlenbruch). The fourth section examined the role of institutions in the interpretation of cultural heritage through the German-Jewish painter Ruth Schloss (Natalya Zolotar) and the "Zumu - Museum on the Move" in Israel (Noya Becher). (Further information: Students' Research).