International Artists Day 

On the occasion of the International Artists Day on October 25th, the Willy Brandt Center wanted to highlight culture’s contributions to society in challenging times, and to celebrate all the ways in which artists bring their own special view to life.

We introduced the project “Jerusalem and Europe – Visions for a World of Tomorrow”, a collection of essays and short stories by writers and scholars from Israel, the Palestinian Territories and Europe, inspired by Stefan Zweig’s The World of Yesterday. Hanno Loewy, scolar, writer and director of the Jewish Museum in Hohenems, read his text “The Tale of the ‘Christian-Jewish Occident’”, which was part of this project. He also gave insights into an exhibition that has recently opened at the Jewish Museum Hohenems, titled “The Last Europeans” which.

Israeli bassoon player Nadav Cohen presented a premier broadcast of the piece “Four Character Pieces’ for bassoon solo, by the Jerusalem-based composer Sergiu Shapira. A prominent contributor to the local contemporary music scene, Cohen is a founding member and producer of the Tel Aviv Wind Quintet, and a member of the award-winning Meitar Ensemble, in which he also serves as a faculty member of the “Tedarim” program for contemporary music at the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance. Cohen spoke to the audience about the challenging situation artists are facing during the Corona pandemic, and the many creative ways artists try to cope with it and reach out to their audience.

Following Cohen’s presentation, Johanna Lonsky, an Austrian cinema and theatre actress working for the BBC and ORF, read the text “Almost Staying” by Julya Rabinowich, which was also a part of the “Jerusalem and Europe – Visions for the World of Tomorrow” project, commissioned in cooperation with the Austrian Cultural Forum Tel Aviv. Lonsky called for solidarity among fellow artists, in order to support each other and to always be aware that we are in this situation together.

We were delighted to welcome an international audience to this event, among them the journalist Pamela Hickman who wrote on her concert critique blog: “Viewing the Willy Brandt Center’s event, one was reassured that the creative spirit is not easily repressed!”