“Mauerreise” – the wall in the world project in Israel

A group of Jewish and Arabic artists has designed the bricks in a workshop with children and young people on 13th June 2009. The workshop was held as part of the “Restrictions of Freedom of Movement” exhibition in the art gallery of the Israeli-arabic town Umm el-Fahem.
A symposium on this subject took place there with the artists in 2008. This year they have met at Umm el-Fahem again to present the work resulting from it. The exhibition has opened on 20th June, it focuses on the extreme restriction of freedom of movement in the autonomous regions, between these regions and Israel and the rest of the Arab world.
The bricks were also presented on 20th June and are now on view on the roof of the Umm-el-Fahem Art Gallery.
Umm el-Fahem lies in the north-east of Israel, close to the West Bank Barrier - the wall separating Israel and the Occupied Territories - that went up in the wake of the last Intifada. Umm el-Fahem is one of the largest Palestinian towns in Israel and has a population of about 50,000 people.

Although there is no actual wall running through Umm el-Fahem itself, the West Bank Barrier nevertheless still represents an insurmountable obstacle. The wall has been responsible for cutting off many of the town’s residents from their friends and relations in the West Bank. Furthermore many Palestinians from the Occupied Territories work in the town, but these days it is very difficult to enter Israel and they often have to wait in queues for hours on end at the border crossing points. The art event started with a trip to the West Bank Barrier. The people taking part were the staff of the Goethe Institut, along with a team from the Umm el-Fahem art gallery and a group of children and teenagers who take part in a painting course at the gallery every Saturday – the aim was to get a hands-on impression. Afterwards they all went back to the art gallery where the 20 eight-to-twelve-year-old boys and girls let their imaginations run wild as they painted images on bricks of the wall.
We would like to thank Noa Ben-Shalom for providing the photographic background to the “Wall In The World” project.
    © Goethe-Institut

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