Posted Michał Zajda
First, one must ask the question, what was the so-called people’s government in Poland? Right after the Germans yielded, I am purposely avoiding the word ‘liberation’, the Soviets dictated their way of running the country. The system, which was forced on Poland, wasn’t Lenin Bolshevism anymore, not to be mistaken with Marxism, but a Stalinist totalitarian emanation of it. The Stalinists got rid of the opposition very quickly, by putting them in jails, or exterminating them physically, callously and ruthlessly suppressing the smallest forms of resistance. Until Polish October (or Gomułka’s thaw – ed.) in 1956, soldiers of the underground resistance were being destroyed, their fight against the Nazi invaders marginalized and they were attributed with the biggest war crimes.
The Holocaust, globally the largest crime in human history, was slowly becoming a weapon in the fight against Polish patriots. If someone spoke of bandits in the forest, they couldn’t have meant anybody else than the Armia Krajowa (Home Army – ed.) or the National Armed Forces. They were accused of collaborating with the enemy, which was the official basis for trials and later sentencing of the leaders of the Polish Underground State (PPP) to death. Unfortunately, such thinking still lingers in the minds of the unreflective part of society, which repeatedly looks for signs of supporting the Holocaust in PPP’s actions. This is, and must be made completely clear, wrong - from the ground up. PPP’s aim was to protect citizens against the German aggressors and as is known, Jews were full-fledged citizens of the pre-September Poland, that is, until this country was invaded and then swept away by the Nazi-Soviet machine of destruction!
But the Polish state, meaning the civic community, has suffered most in the war. Nearly four million people were killed (the number is impossible to determine, yet according to statistics Poland was populated by around 35 million people in 1939, that number fell to 24 million) and thirty percent of the national wealth was destroyed or stolen. Poland lost nearly seventy-seven thousand square kilometers of land! What more is there to say, just look at a photo of post-war Warsaw… After the year 1956, the routine use of force against Polish patriots stopped, but the verbal bashing continued until the regaining of sovereignty in 1989. Then, the perception of responsibility for the crimes of the Holocaust was subject to a more pragmatic view. Yet the mental effects dug into the Polish awareness very deeply, filling out the guilt with a kind of negation of certain historical facts. Why? From the very beginning, the so-called socialist historiography, in other words – propaganda, stuffed the Polish society with very specific “truths”, which passed for reality. Quite clearly, they suggested that the Pole, as inherently good, guided by their own worldview could not allow the szmalcownictwo (blackmailing for profit) and other war crimes against the Jewish people. He had evil and deceitful leaders! How nice and pleasant for all, easier to accept.
Quite an interesting observation seems to be a semantic fact, used mostly by non-democratic systems. Please note, that whenever the word “truth” is abused it often legitimizes the “untruth”. So the more one seeks to know the truth, the more he/she does not want to know it. Also, I have the impression that today this principle refers to certain specific cases. The Smoleńsk wreck is crowning proof – without bowing in any direction, it is clear that in this case, the “truth” is a political tool in the hands of both sides of the conflict over “the truest truth”. Nobody wants to reach it, because the lack of knowledge gives a lot of leeway which is very convenient for both sides. Just divagations about the service of “truth” in the world of “untruth”… so much on this topic, I’ve written too much anyway!
The tragedy of the Holocaust became a powerful, ideological weapon in the hands of the communists. We should keep in mind that the main arena for the crimes of the Nazi genocide were lands that are in accordance with the Yalta order, that prevailed at the end of World War II, in the Soviet sphere of influence. The communist propaganda twisted the facts, mainly by giving imaginary numbers of victims – these actions usually concerned Auschwitz, as a symbol of the Nazi crimes. Why? Many times during the “real socialism” or “communism with a human face”, as party notables used to call the PRL (People’s Republic of Poland – ed.), one could hear of about six million murdered in Auschwitz, or more accurately, yet still far from the truth, information about three million murdered. On the basis of reliable historical research, we can now say that this number is believed to be around one million one thousand. It is known to anyone interested in the matters of genocide by the Germans in 1942-1945, that the camp in Auschwitz couldn’t have murdered the number of people mentioned earlier.
What was the purpose of these manipulations then? The Federal Republic of Germany in the Cold War propaganda was presented as the primary enemy of the Republic of Poland, because it combined the long-standing aversion towards Germans as the eternal adversary of Poland, besides it pointed to FRG as the direct ideological heirs of the perpetrators of the tragedy of war. The effect of such thinking about the „revisionists from Bonn”, as the inhabitants of Western Germany were commonly called in the media east of the Elbe, was assigning them the will to change the Oder-Neisse border. That is where, according to eastern propaganda, Nazi war criminals were hiding. Again, that is where the gains of Nazi eugenics were used and the money stolen from Poles, as well as Jews, was being laundered. It was the border agreement created on December 7, 1970 that "calmed down" the propaganda and began to slowly and timidly, regulate the relations, diplomatically, as well as economically.
So the tragedy of the Holocaust was a bargaining chip in the hands of the communists, in shaping domestic policy. It served to drag the families affected by this disaster onto their side. For a limited time. In 1968 the myth burst like a bubble and the delusion of a good communist gave way to cold-blooded, cunning, political calculation. Jews weren’t needed anymore. They changed from victims and became a partner, standing at the side of the class enemy, the American imperialist. The rhetoric of “backstabbing” could be used again as an irreplaceable antidote for all injustice. Of course, an escalation of violence could not happen again, yet twenty years after the war, people were going through an ideological déjà vu… A simple man could have thought, WE helped you disinterestedly, and this is how YOU repay us? To Israel, we don’t want you here in Poland anymore. Such thinking from a simple man was expected by the “people’s government”!
History has come full circle…
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March 19, 2013 | 7:42 am
Posted Tal Dror
It is no secret that Antisemitism is bluntly on the rise in Europe, South America, the Arab world and almost everywhere in the world. So why would Facebook, the 3rd largest 'country' in the world with over a billion 'citizens' would be different? Why would Wikipedia, home for millions and millions of 'tourists' entering through its gates on a daily basis would be any different? Antisemitism doesn't stop on the borders of Europe or the Arab world. It crosses borders and boundaries, and infiltrates the cyber world as much as it infiltrates schools, mosques and community centers.
In its 2009 study on social networks, the Simon Wiesenthal Center showed a growth curve in the number of websites calling for violence against Jews In 2000, 1400 sites were identified, as opposed to 10,000 sites in 2009.
The reasons for this huge growth are many. But I would like to focus not on WHY online Antisemitism is on the rise, but on WHAT can we do, and HOW we can combat it. The Web allows unmonitored access to marginal groups' contents, and thus can greatly influence the various audiences exposed to that information, mainly young people who are easily influenced. Considering that the Internet is used as a significant instrument for spreading Antisemitism and hatred towards Israel and the Jewish people, it is also the proper platform on which we should battle the Antisemitic websites, undermine them, and spread credible and balanced information instead of them.
In 2011, a group of young leaders from the National Union of Israeli Students (NUIS) decided that for too long the cyber world was a failed warzone for Israelis and Jews all over the world. In this warzone, the invisible 'enemy' launches numerous attacks on us, inflicting damage and wounds on the image of Jews and Israelis around the world.
This is why our group – 'Students Against Antisemitism Online' was created. A group of young, professional and passionate students who spend hours every month working on various websites, social networks, blogs, Q&A websites and much more trying to spread positive materials and the other side of the story, alongside shutting down and getting rid of Antisemitic users online. These are our two main strategies – to make sure that mainstream websites, FB groups, blogs etc. will have a presence that contradicts Antisemitic claims as well as making sure that Antisemitism will be shut down and thrown off the cyber-map.
In this somewhat war of attrition it's hard to tell winners from losers. It's hard to know if you inflicted any damage on your invisible 'enemy', or if sometimes you are shooting your cyber-bullets on useless targets. But one thing is for sure – the very presence of young Jewish voices online, dedicating hours and hours every month is extremely important. The next neo-Nazi or KKK member will not be recruited in a dark basement in a god forsaken town in Europe or the US. He or she will be recruited after watching an inflammatory video on Youtube, reading a biased and Antisemitic article on Wikipedia or joining a Facebook groups delivering Antisemitic slur 24/7. This is why our presence is so important. This is why even if this war of attrition can't be won, and we are outnumbered by thousands of Antisemitic activists from all around the world we can't give up and continue with our activity. If us young people, who are native to the social media world are not going to do it – then who will?
This short introduction to the NUIS' 'Students Against Antisemitism Online' program will be followed by descriptions of our daily activity, the problems and struggles we face and sometimes also a 'call of action' for young Jewish students from all around the world to join our efforts and contribute a FB post, a small 'Like' or a positive comment. You can already start helping us by Liking our FB page:
For any questions, comments or ideas don't hesitate to email me at:
Students Against Antisemitism Online
March 10, 2013 | 5:26 am
Posted Michał Zajda
I was intrigued by the recent commotion regarding the alleged insults thrown at the Radwański sisters by tennis pseudo-fans in Israel. Obviously, we are not talking about real fans here, only plain „rebelious boors” of the sort that are beloved by the fatherly figure of the establishment of true Poles, Staruch, the star of a recent episode of Jan Pospieszalki’s talk show. But to the point. Today, that is the 1st of march, during Kontrwywiad on RMF FM, Polish Minister of Foreign Affairs Radosław Sikorski informed the listeners that the Polish ambasaddor or his staff „contacted the Radwański sisters’ coach, who said that he did not hear anything and he is not asking for diplomatic intervention”.
But first thing’s first... On February 12, on my favorite website niezalezna.pl, we read as follows,
„During the match with Israel in Euro-African Region, Group I, the Radwański sister double from Poland was called out to by Israeli fans. We received informatoin that the tennis players were addressed as „Catholic bi....s!”. The media were silent about this, but we managed to get confirmation of this news from a member of the Polish tennis crew. There is even a discussion regarding this on Agnieszka Radwańska’s official Facebook page.”
And here is the confirmation of this information, „One ought to keep a certain form at the tennis courts, but their behavior was very, very rude”, Dawid Celt told Niezależna. Celt is a member of the Polish tennis crew, who played a Friday match against Israel. During the game, the Radwański sisters were insulted by the fans. Apart from offensive remarks, the court was also littered with paper planes. The Polish Tennis Association did not wish to comment the matter.
Celt did not want to fan the flame and did not comment the remarks made from the stands. „The fans did not behave appropriately for the venue and the significance of the event. They did not behave as tennis fans should, they disturbed the game, crying out. I can’t say what they were yelling”, Dawid Celt says.” – End of quote.
From that context it appears that it was all so offensive that Mr. Celt cannot say what it is they were yelling... or perhaps he just didn’t understand? But if he couldn’t understand, then that just means they weren’t yelling right – of course! The vigilant, independent, always oppositionist and unsuccessfully persecuted organs of the true Poles, have rapidly deduced that the regime-like, anti-Polish media, dominated by the Michnik-esque Judeo-communists have simply decided to stay silent. Basta!
I cannot comprehend, with my perhaps somewhat limited historian’s brain, how this trivial incident, which surely took place, could have become such a huge media event. I recommend visiting any football match in Poland and listening to what the „fans” are chanting in the stands... and thus comes the question. Doe the Israeli Minister of Foreign Affairs issue statements of protest? I am under the impression that we are dealing with some sort of manic psychosis, combined with an international coddling-deprivation syndrome.
But what made a great impression on me is the attitude of Agnieszka Radwańska herself, who commented in a very laconic, but meaningful way, on the behavior of part of the Israeli fans, who insulted the players by calling them „Catholic bi....s” – she said, that such behavior was sad and unfair. She is right of course! It is sad and offensive. But Agnieszka herself said this once, and then went on to her training, in order to promote Poland and herself with her quality of play. It should be noted, that during the tournament she defeated every opponent, got on the plane and returned to Poland. What more is there to say... Case closed.
The Polish team’s achievements and wins at the Federation Cup in Eliat became secondary for many, I believe; what was important is that „they’re offending us over there”...
Dear Readers – I am not denying the fact of a verbal assault against these innocent women, I do not think that Israeli hooligans are any better than Polish ones. I do, however, oppose the accompanying narration! Niezalezna.pl and similar such media ex cathedra, treat such hooligan antics as the official position of one ethnic group toward another. This is both sad and false.
Today, Poland remembers the day of „banished soldiers” – people abandoned by the system, marginalized and destroyed brutally by the communists. I won’t have it, for Staruch and other criminals, who chant „f...k the Jews” in the stands, to shield themselves with the banners and images of heroes, when such events take place today. In today’s Gazeta Wyborcza, I read the following words in an interview with Catholic University of Lublin professor, Dr. Rafał Wnuk, „The anti-communist message of the „banished soldiers” is an attractive banner, for radical communities to unite under. We can’t forget, however, the goal of this anti-communist mobilization in our country, where communism fell nearly a quarter of a century ago. Here lies the essence of this manipulation. Its aim is to portray the „banished soldiers” as a symbol of resistance against the current state of Poland, a country considered by some to be subordinate or involved with communism. I am very hopeful that this day of remembrance will not evolve in that direction.”
I do not refer to this holiday here without reason. I am guided by the idea of promoting the values connected with it, but I am also hurt by it being appropriated by these extremes, involved with criminal circles, which insult others and wipe their mouths with ideas of which they have no comprehension whatsoever.
Leaving this unpleasant topic, I will allow myself the support of a few quoted lines from My Żydzi polscy (We Polish Jews) by the unforgettable Julian Tuwim,
Jestem Polakiem, bo tak mi się podoba. To moja ściśle prywatna
sprawa, z której nikomu nie mam zamiaru zdawać relacji, ani
wyjaśniać jej, tłumaczyć, uzasadniać. Nie dzielę Polaków na
"rodowitych" i "nierodowitych", pozostawiając to rodowitym
i nierodowitym rasistom, rodzimym i nierodzimym hitlerowcom.
Dzielę Polaków, jak Żydów i jak inne narody, na mądrych i
głupich, uczciwych i złodziei, inteligentnych i tępych, intere-
sujących i nudnych, krzywdzonych i krzywdzących, gentelmanów
i nie-gentelmenów etc. …
I am Polish, because I like it that way. This is strictly my private matter, which I do not intend to relate, explain or justify to anyone. I do not group Poles into the „true born” and not, leaving it to true-born and not true-born racists, native and foreign-born Nazis. I separate Poles, same as Jews and other nations, into the smart and the dumb, honest and thieving, bright and dim, interesting and boring, harmed and harming, gentlemen and non-gentlemen etc. ...
February 24, 2013 | 11:22 pm
Posted Dana Addadi
The Queen of almost' is a solo drug show written by Hadas Bashan for Talula Bonet.
Talula Bonet is a drug queen created by the young actor Tal Kallai 12 years ago, and up to now was mainly assigned with the biggest gay party lines in Tel Aviv
This is the first time Kallai has given Talula a stage to reveal her wishes, and personal voice. Talula tells her story, how she almost became the ultra-star of Tel-Aviv's great cultural life. Moving from the Kibbutz to the big city, she was sure she'll fast become famous and admirable for her talent.
Sounds like you have a lot of empathy to the character, even though it seems like it is the type of a person most of us will despise
We hear a lot of people getting out of the show, saying they found themselves in Talula's story: single ladies, gay guys, and obviously most of the people living in Tel Aviv, who are all familiar with "the almost" syndrome we talk about in the show. Apparently, we recognized a fundamental element; most people can identify with and share.
You have been going on with Talula's drag shows for over 12 years.
How much of Talula you have created is in Bashan's play?
Before this play, Talula mostly served as a side-kick in different TV shows and big entertaining gay events in order to add glam and color to them. She had never had the chance to "tell her story" right, so no one really knew who she really was, including me. Bashan sawed the pieces of her past together into a full picture, and Dudu Yzhaki's musical management contributes greatly to the way we wanted to tell it.
You were brought up in Jerusalem, where you also took your studies in the prestigious acting studio of Nissan Nativ's.
How would you compare what Tel-Aviv has to offer to the gay community with what Jerusalem is offering?
People may not know this, but even though it seems that everything happens in Tel Aviv, including the most significant gay party lines and events, Talula was actually born in a gay bar in Jerusalem, alongside with my fellows to the process where the group of drag queens "The holly Wigs" set their place. I'm proud to say that this is where Talula started, and all of us in "Holly Wigs" still keep a special place in our heart for to the first gay bar to accept us there.
I keep a new tradition now to perform every Monday in MIKVE- the new gay bar in the holly city with my weekly solo show: GEVALD
February 24, 2013 | 11:19 pm
Posted Pavel Pustelnik
Never again – this is probably the best name for a museum that was created to commemorate Holocaust.
Outside the building is cold and rough. The walls are not welcoming, even if touched by dazzling February sun. The very end of Mall, not far away from waterfront, in the immediate vicinity of the Washington Monument - the US Holocaust Memorial Museum is located somehow aside, just not to spoil the merry atmosphere of the National Air and Space Museum or the National Museum of American History Police around, “Taste your water, Sir” at the security, which is not unusual in the US, but still uncommon when entering a museum.
The main bright hall does not announce the traumatic content of the museum. There is a lot of space, it seems that the building is breathing and enjoying the sun as if it was alive. In order to enter the exhibition, guests are asked to enter a large elevator. It is not obvious if it was an intention of the constructors, but being crowded on a small space starts to bring some associations. First floor, second, third. The elevator does not hurry.
The three floors of the Holocaust Memorial Museum are incredibly packed and as you walk the rooms, artifacts, life stories and pictures weave the perplexing history of genocide that happened in Europe. The authors of the permanent exhibition decided to offer most of the information in the first rooms so that the visitors understand what they are going to see later. Large print boards, movies and pictures that set the scene for the next rooms. At the beginning you feel the urge to take notes, to remember, to know, to have the number at hand, but after some time it becomes fastidious, impossible, pointless.
The Museum unfolds the story chronologically. Paradoxically, the more you know the more you believe that there will be a happy end. Perhaps the whole death-fuelled machine will break at some point. It will just stop digesting the atrocities. This is obviously not the case. Next room. The broadcast is becoming more and more brutal. Some of the screens are protected in a way that children cannot see the content. The machine works and is well oiled. A room filled with shoes brought from Auschwitz, the foul smell that is so omnipresent at the original site, people starting to break down in tears.
The US site is not too interactive as it should not be. It is painfully explicit and educating in all three parts it offers: “Nazi Assault,” “Final Solution,” and “Last Chapter”. Each visitor experiences different range of emotions. Without a shadow of a doubt, the US Holocaust Memorial Museum leaves you with many questions, the most basic being “How was this possible?” The answers given by the Museum’s narrative are straightforward but still, you just want to question the nature of a human being, if Holocaust was possible.
More than 34.1 million people visited the Museum since it opened in April 1993. There are more than 16,385 objects gathered, with an average of six to seven new items acquired each week. The US Holocaust Memorial employs 400 people.
(more pics here)
February 24, 2013 | 11:11 pm
Posted Ian Shulman
How should a Holocaust art look like? Are there any functions which it needs to execute? Should it follow any cautious guidelines; inspire any actions or thoughts; inform, remind or alarm? Adolf Frankl’s permanent exhibition in Vienna, called ‘Art against oblivion’ (‘Kunst gegen das Vergessen’), seems to have its own mission too. Yet his paintings approach Holocaust from a very personal and, therefore, a very unobvious viewpoint.
Adolf Frankl was born in 1903 in Bratislava and studied art with renown Slovak artists of his time. During his studies he also worked as a cartoonist and a painter. Being Jewish, In 1944 Frankl and his family were captured and transported to Sered’ concentration camp. Having spent a bit more than a month there, the painter was deported to Auschwitz. Later Frankl was moved to a typhus barrack in Althammer (Stara Kuznia), a neighbouring camp of Auschwitz. In 1945, he was saved by the Red Army. Right after his rescue, the artist moved back to Bratislava and started to work on his most prominent creation, inspired by what he has seen during the Holocaust - the cycle ‘Visions from Inferno’. In 1949 the communist regime has forced Frankl to leave Bratislava again, his ‘beloved native town’ as he called it in the names of his paintings. This time the artist has left his town forever. Frankl lived in Vienna, New York and Germany and died in Vienna in 1983.
Frankl has devoted more than 50 years of his life to art. Learning painting in the interwar Central Europe, the artist couldn’t remain unaffected by the major tendencies, which have drastically changed the fine arts. His works were to a certain extent inspired by Chagall, Picasso as well as by lesser known artists.
Holocaust is not the only topic of Frankl’s countless paintings - but among his cartoons or scenes of the pre-war life in Bratislava or Vienna, it obviously plays the central role. The artists takes a very individual touch to the representation of this topic. According to the memories of Thomas Frankl, the artist’s son who runs the exhibition in Vienna, Adolf has hardly spoken about his Holocaust memories. Instead, these memories were voiced through his art.
But apart from artist’s war memories and sketches, Frankl’s works feature many reflections, full of hidden and apparent comparisons, symbols and metaphors. Thus, Frankl constructs Adolf Eichmann’s face from the bodies of suffering victims (‘Adolf Eichmann - anthropomorphic description’); while countless faces, figures and Bratislava city patterns can be found on a mosaic-like ‘Remembrance of the Bratislava rabbis’. Being an important element of Frankl’s inspiration, Bratislava is beautifully portrayed on ‘The approaching doom’, where mysterious faces and images, symbolizing the nearing disaster, have filled the sky over a picturesque city skyline.
The dynamism, inherent to Frankl’s paintings, is aimed to depict the transformations, which happen to human nature in times of disorder. These transformations are, again, approached from a metaphorical, maybe even slightly ‘naive’ viewpoint (which is rather mentioned in the context of ‘naive art’ than literally). ‘The tornado’ portraits ‘the eruption of evil and the animalistic inhumanity are portrayed in the numerous figures’, and ‘The persecutors’ intends to ‘describe the hatred of human creatures becoming animals. It is the wild animals with their bloodthirsty mouths chasing the weak and defenceless ones’.
Apart from the permanent exhibition in Vienna, opened in 2006 at Judenplatz, the historic center of Viennese Jewish life, Frankl’s paintings have been presented at various shows during the past forty years in Austria, Germany, Israel, Poland, the USA, Italy, and, finally, in Slovakia.
Slovakia has an especially significant meaning in this list. Thomas Frankl recalls accompanying his father in his trips to the Austrian borderline, where only a border fence separated him from his beloved city of Bratislava. Frankl could clearly see the Bratislava castle and the city skyline on the other bank of the Danube, on the other side of the Iron Curtain, with no hope to ever come back to the city of his birth. Years after the artist’s death in his ‘Viennese exile’, his paintings have eventually passed the already fallen border.
Frankl’s art offers an offbeat approach to the hard and constrained topic of Shoa. Being very personal by default, these paintings do not aim to win the masses. Yet, their ability to fascinate and puzzle does not need to be proven.
February 15, 2013 | 1:16 am
Posted Dana Addadi
My 'Tu B'Shvat' celebration started when I came across an ad calling for volunteers to come and give a hand in establishing an urban farm in the middle of 'Shchoona Gimel' (3rd district) Be'er Sheva. The invitation was signed by the organization, Shvuat Ha Adama (Earth's Promise) , which was founded by a young couple, and sponsored by Issac Hamez and World KKL in partnership with the municipality of Be'er Sheva and Kalisher Absorption Center, which accommodates newcomers from the 'Palashmura' clan of Ethiopia.
Adam Joshua Ganson and Moran Slakmon started the project 4 years ago with a vision: To use the most fundemental element in bringing people of a community together: the land.
The 3rd district of Be'er Sheva is strongly assocoated with low economical class, less fortunate population and societal tension.
This is where the couple chose to base their headquarters from which they supervise the development of at least two more southern urban farms of the same model as they grow. The intention of the two is to supply the foundations for realizing the concept, while the execution itself is left to the locals, who gladly take upon the oppurtunity handed to them. They launch the starting point, considering all conditions necessary for the miracle to happen in the target community, knowing the community could easily take off from there.
What are the conditions required for an ideal farm in the city, so it could be sustainable and benefficial for all?
We are now on the second phase of our work here: putting the citrus orchard for the enjoyment of all members of the neighborhood. We check first options of the topography; in Kalisher Garden, for example, there's a clear slope coming down the hill, which could be naturally used in this climate. This area is prone to many floods followed by dry days. Digging channels in the soil to accumulate extra water is an old Nabatic system aimed to keep the water in the ground. It's ecological and economical.
But what you can see allready in use to the right is the garden. That was initally dedicated solely to the residents of the absorption center. We got many seeds of original plants from Ethiopia, the 'Palashmura' are used to working with, like "Gomen" (a kind of lettuce), and we encourge them to try out local mediterianan seeds like eggplants, though it's not an ingredient of the traditional Ethiopian menu.
The 50 familes living in the absorption center at the front are working here for their own food. Each family to its own flowerbed.
The final stage will be the farm behind. For this we went to the local businesses in town asking them what would they like us to grow, to ensure that they will buy the farm’s products. This way we also use a naturally deserted place; and naturally making the city more beautiful and, of course, green. We supply a new pool of local organic food, without using any gas or diesel to deliver it, or a big network of supermarkets to sell it. Most important of all: this kind of system is not only about going green and healthy, it is also important to strengthen the local coin: Money stays in, and so does labor and time—those don't run out of the borders of the neighberhood.
To top it all, there's a crucial social effect to what we are doing: not only the newcomers are meeting the old residents at their back yard, but all people of the neighberhood are invited to take part in a real co-operative: whoever gives time of work in the farm. Local businesses and other community services are giving back time and products by the hour. Our favourite Falafel vendor has just joined the operation; dancing lessons and Hebrew teaching and all kind of barters are being swapped with the working hands like good old classic trading.
This is it, I pulled my sleves up, ready to plant my first tree this year with the Palashmura for their first Tu B'Shvat in Israel. I look at Moran and Adam and with their co-ordinator Ateret I started following their skilled smooth movements as they deal with the dirt. Trying to adapt to myself a true serious look of a farmer, even if just for one day.
Join Shvuat Adama on Facebook.
February 15, 2013 | 1:10 am
Posted Dana Addadi
One Israeli medical student and one documentary cinema photographer join together to run the "POSOTIVE" project. A unique 40-minute documentary film chronicling the story of the rock music scene as seen in the live house concerts performed monthly at the student's house in the Capital of the Negev—Be'er Sheva.
No, that's not quite accurate. Strike it down and let me start over; this the private story of Ronel Keren, 6th year student of the medical University Semmelweiss in Budapest, Hungary, landing straight from cold Europe into his professional internship in 'Sorroka' hospital in Be'er Sheva. Originally from Kfar Sabba, Keren didn't know anyone in town. Let alone, he didn't go to 'Ben-Gurion' University either, as most medical students living there do; and so he sensed a strong lack of a community for himself.
Having played in a band for as long he can remember, one night Keren went to sneak a taste of the local rock music scene at a popular venue in town, and fell in love with the raw authentic statement of what the artists there had to offer. Unlike in other more central areas of Israel, in which music creators strive to keep up the beat up to date, there was something almost pure in the lyrics and melodies brought out by the citizens of the desert city.
Once a month Keren rents some amplifiers, microphones and lights, and the little quiet home of his goes through a transformation: in the corner of the kitchen the artists are invited to “the stage,” on the other corner of the living room neighbors and families take their place on the couch or on a carpet on the floor ready for magic to begin.
POSOTIVE project aims to bring music as Keren believes it should be delivered to the listeners: intimate, close, un-plugged. For this cause he assigned Itamar Luria to follow the monthly events with his camera. The result, they hope, will become a 40-minute documentary aimed to expose the Negev local voices to the world. Voices that are unlikely to be heard at global scale.