International Women’s Day 2019

To mark the International Women’s Day on March 8th, the Willy Brandt Center organized a panel discussion on women’s status in the arts. The guests of the panel were long-time manager of the Barenboim Said Foundation in Ramallah, Muna Khleifi, art historian and director of the Negev Museum of Art, Dalia Manor, and co-founder of the Barbur Gallery in Jerusalem, Masha Zusman.

Each panel member spoke of her background and presented her work and experience in the field of art. The panel encompassed today’s challenges, opportunities, creative concepts and visions for the future.

One of the problems that were discussed is the lack of documentation and representation of female art creation, which leads to a lack of knowledge about great women artists over the centuries. Another issue that was mentioned is the market value of male artists, which is still higher than that of female artists.

All participants agreed that the situation has improved over the last decades and that the number of women working in the arts has risen. Nevertheless, to a large extent women are still excluded from management, and many major decisions are left to men.

The large attending audience engaged in a lively discussion, offering their experiences from other fields and different countries.

The conclusion was that there is still a long way to go to reach equality. Nevertheless, the panel ended with the optimistic encouragement of women to promote each other and to act in solidarity in order to overcome social limitations and obstacles.

 

Illustration: WBC – International women’s day postcard, designed for WBC by Dorit Bialer (2019)

Concert by the Tel Aviv Wind Quintet – March 29, 2019

The Willy Brandt Center team was delighted to welcome for the first time the internationally celebrated Tel Aviv Wind Quintet. Its members, Roy Amotz (flute), Yigal Kaminka (oboe), Itamar Leshem (horn), Nadav Cohen (bassoon) and Danny Erdman (clarinet), prepared a program composed of classics and masterpieces of the 20th century. Music lovers from the whole region gathered to hear the popular ensemble and filled our center’s hall.

The Tel Aviv Wind Quintet was founded in 2009 by young Israeli musicians seeking to bring the wonderful woodwind repertoire, as well as commissioned works, to wider audiences. Today, the quintet performs at the most distinguished concert halls all around Israel, Europe and Asia. What made the evening at the Willy Brandt Center so special was the intimate and cosy ambiance, creating an atmosphere of “chamber music” in every sense. The artists and audience soon found themselves interacting with each other, discussing the meaning behind the performed musical pieces, and talking about composers and instruments. The personal and lively encounter continued long after the concert, as the audience and musicians shared individual concert experiences and philosophised about music.

We are looking forward to the ensemble’s return to our center in the near future, and to further cooperate on workshop and concert projects with these wonderful musicians and young Israeli and Palestinian talents.

WBC Frauensdelegation – Bericht

Anläßlich der internationalen Frauentags veröffentlichen wir exemplarisch für unsere Arbeit an der Bildung eines Women Networks in Jerusalem einen Bericht unserer Projektleiterin Judith Höffkes über ihre Erfahrungen auf unserer aktuellen Frauendelegation.

„Beschreibt ein typisches Frauenleben in Eurer Gesellschaft. Gebt ihr einen Namen. Wie behütet wächst sie als Kind auf? Was wird in ihre Schulbildung investiert? Wird sie studieren, vielleicht sogar im Ausland? Wie gestaltet sich ihr Privatleben, wäre Scheidung im Ernstfall eine Möglichkeit?“

Diese Fragestellung war Inhalt eines Workshops, den wir am Ende unserer diesjährigen Frauendelegation organisiert haben. Auf Einladung der Jusos sind wir zum Weltfrauentag von Amman und Tel Aviv aus nach Berlin geflogen, um Frauen aus Israel, Palästina und Deutschland zu vernetzen, um uns gegenseitig kennenzulernen und auszutauschen und die Frage zu stellen: Was können wir für einander tun, als Frauen, im Jahr 2019 in einer Region, in der die Räume für Dialog und Austausch spürbar schrumpfen.

Unsere palästinensischen Partnerinnen haben in jenem Workshop das Leben der fiktiven Marjam beschrieben. Die Einschränkungen und Abhängigkeiten von männlichen Stukturen im Leben dieser palästinensischen Frau rüttelte uns alle wach, auch, weil diese Einschränkungen so krass im Widerspruch standen zu den selbstbewussten und gut ausgebildeten Frauen, die wir während der Delegation kennenlernen durften. Für wenige Stunden waren die Besatzung, das israelische Nationalstaatsgesetz, die Checkpoints, der Militärdienst verschwunden aus unserer Runde und wir waren einfach eine internationale Gruppe von jungen Frauen, die endlich ein gleichberechtigtes Leben führen wollen und damit auf keinen Fall mehr warten können.

Hier eine andere Frage, die ganz nüchtern und fast ein wenig schüchtern gestellt wurde, als die Teilnehmerinnen sich und ihre politischen Ideale vorstellen sollten und bei den israelischen Frauen mehrmals der Begriff Zionismus fiel: „Könnt ihr mir sagen, was Zionismus für euch bedeutet? Als Palästinenserin verbinde ich damit Gefahr und Vertreibung und Rassismus. Aber das könnt ihr ja nicht meinen, also sagt mir, was ist dieser Zionismus?“ Es entspann sich ein ausführliches Gespräch über Familiengeschichte, Sehnsucht nach Heimat und Sicherheit auf beiden Seiten und die Erkenntnis, dass selbst unter unseren linken israelischen Partnerinnen eine eindeutige Definition schwer zu finden ist. Ich als Moderatorin konnte gebannt zuhören und mir innerlich notieren, dass wir im WBC aus dieser Fragestellung einen Workshop für kommende Delegationen basten sollten.

Als Projektkoordinatorin im WBC habe ich in den vergangenen 3 Jahren zahlreiche Delegationen organisiert und geleitet, ich habe gelernt den Widerspruch auszuhalten, das die politische Situation in der Region angespannter und hoffnungsloser wird und gleichzeitig unsere AktivistInnen neugierig und offen und kompetent sind und es nicht abwarten können, mit der anderen Seite die Komplexität der Lage zu diskutieren. Ich habe angefangen, ehrlich stolz auf unser Projekt und unsere Partner zu sein und mich daran gewöhnt, dass Öffentlicheitsarbeit unseren Partnern und unseren Projekten nur zu schnell schaden kann. Die vergangenen 3 Jahre im WBC haben mich erfahren und pragmatisch werden lassen. Die Delegation unseres Frauennetzwerks hat es trotzdem geschafft, mich neu für unsere Arbeit zu begeistern und zu motivieren und sie hat mich daran erinnert, dass die besondere Kraft des WBCs in unseren gemeinsamen politischen Idealen liegt. So lange eine Woche Austausch und politisches Programm zu der Aussage „Ich sehe deine Lebensrealität und meinen Anteil daran. Bitte lass und Partner sein und schauen, was wir tun können“ führen, so lange gibt es hier noch Hoffnung.

 

 

„Octaves of Light“ – Performances by the Ensemble Wiener Collage in Celebration of Christmas and Hanukkah – December 17, 2018

The Willy Brandt Center was honored to host the Ensemble Wiener Collage, a chamber orchestra formation residing at the Arnold Schönberg Center in Vienna.

The ensemble, which is internationally celebrated for its contemporary music interpretations, presented two performances as an exciting alternative to the classical concerts of the Christmas season, playing a beautiful program for an open minded audience in a scenic setting by Australian director Tania Golden.
Christmas and Hanukkah are religious winter festivals that share many similarities. The musicians took their audience on a journey lead by light, from darkness and into joy.

When choosing composers for this evening, the Ensemble looked for young, ambitious Israeli and European artists to support their work. Thus, Arnold Schönberg’s „Christmas Music“, which consists of bits and pieces of famous Christmas carols, was combined with Klezmer melodies and creations by Benjy Fox Rosen, Dietmar Hellmich, Karl Kohn, Alexander Kukelka, Leon Pollak, Ella Milch-Sherif, Alexander Stankovski and Jaime Wolfson.

The Willy Brandt Center was delighted to welcome the prominent Israeli composer Ella Milch-Sherif, who attended the performance of her latest work, composed of two songs based on Yiddish poems written by Beyle Schaechter-Gottesman, which were expressively interpreted by mezzo soprano Patricia Nolz.

The Ensemble Wiener Collage includes members of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra who are dedicated to contemporary music, together with outstanding independent musicians from the contemporary music scene. Guest conductors have included Pierre Boulez, Friedrich Cherha and Erich Urbanner. In Jerusalem, the ensemble played under the baton of its founder René Staar.

Our thanks go to Wien Kultur, the Austrian Federal Chancellery and to the Austrian Cultural Forum in Tel Aviv, for facilitating the artists’ journey to Jerusalem and implementing these special performances at our center.

WBC at the Jusos Federal Congress (Bundeskongress) – November 30 – December 2, 2018

From Judith Höffkes‘ speech at the Jusos Federal Congress:

When I stood on this stage two years ago, at the Congress in Dresden 2016, I looked to the past and focused my speech on the proud history of our project in its 20th anniversary. However, in the last two years of my work, I have tried to shape the Willy Brandt Center for the future.

In doing so, I came to both negative and positive conclusions: On the one hand, the political situation in Israel and Palestine often seems even worse than we could imagine here in Germany. On the other hand, we do indeed have partners and activists at the Willy Brandt Center who represent our values of double solidarity and who, due to our work, meet with the other side of the conflict and listen to their narratives.

Our partners are qualified and motivated, and want to remain in their countries to fight for a peaceful solution for the region. In this regard, the Willy Brandt Center is the only project that offers a place for young progressive activists from both sides. We should indeed be proud of that.

It is a tough challenge nowadays for young Palestinians to act in cooperation with Israelis and to be engaged in a dialogue with the other side of the conflict. Therefore, I am especially happy to announce a new generation of young Fatah activists in our political team. This success is a sign of hope for the future and is a result of our persistence and the sustainable approach of our partnership.

Furthermore, all of our partner organizations are currently engaged in intense processes aimed at shaping the political content for the upcoming year at the Willy Brandt Center. This dedication should motivate us to continue with energy and joy our engagement to double solidarity with young progressive activists.

„Promise Me a Land“: Exhibition and book presentation with Clement Chapillon – October 11, 2018

„Promise Me a Land“ is a project by French Photographer Clement Chapillon which focuses on the bond between people and their land, with the aim to explore the imprint that this land has left on its inhabitants’ identity, in a manner far from traditional clichés.
The project was presented in an exhibition at the Willy Brandt Center in cooperation with the Institut français de Jérusalem Romain Gary, from the 11th of October to the 18th.
Clement Chapillon visited Israel and Palestine in different seasons and experimented with the variation of landscapes, colors, and landforms. He soon felt the need to include in his work the voices of the people he had met. He ventured out to investigate the various dimensions of the seemingly unalterable relationships and ties between people and their land: what marks has the land imprinted on their identity? What hopes, fantasies, and promises remain? To explore this attachment between the land and its inhabitants, he interviewed and photographed people in cities, villages, settlements and kibbutzim. They told him about their lives and their dreams upon this land. A humane, sensitive picture emerged, forming a photographic narrative that Chapillon wishes to convey; its images are immersed in an artistic experience and bring to new light the roots of Israel and Palestine.
The Willy Brandt Center was proud to be given the opportunity to present Clement Chapillon’s project for the first time in the region which is portrayed in his work.
Previous to the project’s presentation at our center, it was published in media and newspapers (such as Die Zeit, Le monde, Arte, L’OBS), exhibited in several festivals and has won the Leica Prize 2017 which allowed Chapillon to present a solo show at the Leica Galery in Paris in April 2018.
Earlier this year, Clement Chapillon published a book titled “Promise Me a Land“, which is a unique patchwork of words, portraits and landscapes. This deeply personal testimony reflects the Israeli-Palestinian mosaic from a profoundly humane perspective. The book, which was published by the German Kehrer Verlag, was presented at the Institut français de Jérusalem followed by a public talk with Clement Chapillon and moderated by Jean-Marc Liling. The artist shared with his audience his experiences and encounters during the developing of the project.

Report: SJD – Die Falken Women Delegation @ WBC Annual Conference

Feminism is for everybody!

The women’s delegation of the Socialist Youth of Germany – The Falcons – stayed in Israel and Palestine from the 12th to the 19th of October 2018. We have agreed on an all-female delegation, focusing on exchange meetings with our sister youth movements, because we find it extremely important to debate matters of feminism and empowerment within our respective organisations. Hence, we were highly appreciative of the inspiring workshops that took place in cooperation with our partners.

During the first two days of our trip, we participated in the annual conference of the WBC, held under the Jerusalem Open Forum – Past and Future Reflection and Creation. There, we met with the leading group within the educational cooperation, which had prepared a wonderful workshop concerning peace education. In this workshop we had the opportunity to discuss and learn about the movements involved, as well the project itself. We also had a very enjoyable and informative experience while playing the peace education games that the leading group had developed. Following the workshop, we attended a presentation by Prof Ali Qleibo on “The History of the Abu Tor Neighbourhood and the House of the Willy Brandt Center”. Since the neighbourhood is quite old-aged, many personal stories are intertwined with its history. The first day found its perfect ending with plenty of delicious food, great wine, and lovely music played by the UNESCO Jazz Journeys.

On the conference’s second day, we participated in a workshop held by Dr. Omar Yousef, on Jerusalem’s urban development and its future. The workshop was exceedingly insightful, as a number of local residents took part in the debate and pointed out some rather interesting aspects that otherwise we probably would not have heard of. After an excellent lunch, we were delighted to join Yoni Mizrachi in a beautiful tour through Hinnom Valley, ending at a spot from which we could enjoy a lovely view over East Jerusalem.

After the conference, which we were glad to have attended, we spent a few very exciting and informative days with our partner organisations from the Middle East.

Friendship!

Conference: Jerusalem Open Forum – October 11-13, 2018

We are happy to invite you to our Conference Jerusalem Open Forum: «Past and Future Reflection and Creation» at the Willy Brandt Center Jerusalem from October 11-13, 2018.

The program starts on October 11 with the opening of Clement Chapillon›s photo exhibition „Promise Me a Land». In the days after that, there will be workshops and panel discussions in which we look to the future and seek ways to inspire discussion and visions for Jerusalem as a peaceful city. In this spirit, we have also organized a musical program that invites you to open your senses to new experiences.

Program of  Jerusalem Open Forum: «Past and Future Reflection and Creation»

OCTOBER 11th

19.00 Vernissage of Clement Chapillon›s photo exhibition „Promise Me a Land»

OCTOBER 12th

12.30 Workshop Peace Education by the Educational Cooperation in the WBC

16.00 Presentation „The History of the Abu Tor Neighborhood and the House of the Willy Brandt Center»
by Prof. Ali Qleibo (Research commissioned by the WBC)

18.30 Reception Formal Opening and Come Together

19.00 Concert „UNESCO Jazz Journeys»

OCTOBER 13th

11.00-16.00 Workshop Think-tank «Redesigning Jerusalem»

    • 11.00-14.00 (with break)

 

    • Peace Building and the production of place – A Jerusalem Dilemma!

 

    • with Omar Yousef

 

    • 14.00-15.00 Lunch

 

    • 15.00-16.30 Tour with Yonathan Mizrachi, Emek Shaveh executive director.

 

    „Hinnom valley – a mix of history, ancient sites, and political interests, at the edge of Abu Tur neighborhood.“

17.00 Presentation Dion Nissenbaum «A Street Divided» Lecture and Panel discussion

19.30 Concert Lukas Lauermann, Cello Sound Experience

* All events take place at: Willy Brandt Center Jerusalem, Ein Rogel 22, Jerusalem – Abu Tor
info@willybrandtcenter.org

The Willy Brandt Center is supported by the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) in cooperation with the Forum Civil Peace Service.

This event is made possible by the kind support of:
Center for International Encounters Jerusalem (CIE)
Austrian Cultural Forum Tel Aviv
UNESCO
Institut Français de Jérusalem – Romain Gary

 

 

 

 

Study Visit of Hans Böckler Foundation (HBS) – August 31-September 9, 2018

Work relations and the struggle for workers’ rights have had a fundamental effect on the shaping of both Israeli and Palestinian societies, and the relations between the two. These include an estimated 100000 Palestinians from the West Bank who currently work in Israel, as well as the fact that the German and Israeli trade unions have laid the foundations for the establishment of German-Israeli diplomatic relations in the late 1950s.
These are just a few of the issues the young trade union activists from the Hans-Böckler-Stiftung discussed during their delegation to Israel and Palestine. The Willy Brandt Center wishes to raise the awareness towards the role of trade unions and further strengthen relations between them. For this reason, we were delighted to welcome the Hans Böckler Stiftung, who over the course of 10 days visited many of our partner organisations such as Histadrut, Friedrich Ebert Stiftung Israel, HaNoar HaOved VeHaLomed, German Embassy Tel Aviv, the Palestinian General Federation of Trade Unions and many more.

WBC Political Summer Camp – August 6-12, 2018

“You always need to step out of your comfort-zone to understand other ones’ needs — a safe space in the middle of nowhere brings the group together and makes it possible to work intensely — We have more in common than things that separate us”

From the 6th to the 12th of August, comrades from the partner organisations of the WBC came together in a remote area of Edersee in the north of Hessen to a first of its kind WBC Political Summer Camp. More than 50 young activists from Israel, Palestine and Germany came together to meet, get to know each other and learn more about their individual backgrounds and societies – and the conflict.

The general topic of the Summer Camp was “Community Organising”, aiming to explore the idea of organising within and around a community and political organisations, through socialist and social-democratic perspectives and topics.

During a week of discussions within the Working Groups on Education, Gender Equality and Workers’ Rights, the participants had the chance to share and reflect on their societies and work within their movements. There was something that each and every one of us learnt during this week: There is not only one perspective, and only if you make yourself free from your prejudices and former experiences, are you able to learn and accept the perspectives of others and work together.

The first, but also the only disappointment, was when we realised on arrival, that the lake (Edersee) was almost completely dry, so there would be no swimming in between the working groups…
Nevertheless, there were enough things to do: as well as the workshops, there was time for singing, dancing, doing sports, playing games – and sometimes time just to have a beer and a chat.

In the reality we live in, meeting activists from different backgrounds is not by any means easy to organise, and the result was astonishing and empowering. The week was a great mixture of learning – inside and outside of the workshops, having fun, making friends and ended with a lot of planning to meet again, to continue working together and dreaming of a socialist world. And eventually, during the week, we even managed to find a lake with water!

The Summer Camp felt like the start of something new and it is our goal to take the spirit from this week, take it back to our movements and create more of these kinds of spaces within the framework of the Willy Brandt Center.

For more information and to support this kind of a project in the future, write to SummerCamp18@willybrandtcenter.org