ZAZ Festival 2015

 

Few words about the Festival  by Tamar Raban 

 

Less than a month before the tenth ZAZ Festival, a large group of artists, colleagues, friends, acquaintances and good people are here to help us hold the festival and save the Performance Art Platform from collapse. We are surrounded by the love and empathy of people who remind us that our work is needed in Israel’s culture and demonstrate the power of solidarity in our disintegrating reality.

Around this time last year I was attending another festival in a far away land – the Asiatopia Festival in Thailand. While sitting with a group of artists from China, Singapore and Thailand, they asked me to tell them about the situation in Israel. The last war in Gaza was still on everyone’s mind and troubled my colleagues. Like many others around the world, they had difficulty accepting Israel’s occupation and oppression of another people and directed their criticism at me, regarding me as a representative of my country and its policies. I, of course, wanted to be seen as an individual Israeli, with my own complexities and personality, rather than as a representative figure. In my art, too, I believe that a performance artist does not play a character, does not represent anything or serve ideologies; the artist is himself or herself, performing right here, right now. To my mind, the performer’s role is to shed light on reality, even change and heal it.

I was born in Israel. It is my country and Hebrew is my language. During that conversation in a small, peaceful village in the Nan Province of Thailand, I told my colleagues with some pride that in Israel I am able to express similar criticism to theirs against the policies of my homeland. I was brought up in a democracy, and freedom of speech and opinion is a basic value to me. For them, however, speaking up against their governments’ policies is a serious risk. This surprised them. They found it hard to understand how the Israeli ministry of culture and foreign office can support activities such as mine and the organization I head without interfering with artistic contents. I was happy to present to them this important aspect of Israel, realizing that I have improved the image of my country in their eyes.

I have already expressed my esteem for these artists, especially those from South-East Asia, whose work is produced as an existential need, taking risks under totalitarian regimes. I have admired their creative passion and freedom of spirit in an oppressive environment, and their belief in their important social role as artists. I have presented them to my students as role models for crucial, uncompromising, committed, personal work that addresses issues beyond the individual ones. I wanted us to learn from them. However, I may have neglected to point out – and this has now become particularly important – that I have never envied them for the conditions under which they work. Perhaps I have never really understood them…

I keep returning in my mind to that encounter in Thailand, asking myself what I would tell them had we met today. That which was obvious to me then is no longer so obvious. At the moment of writing these words I am still unsure whether we are going to be able to hold the festival. Because of some problem vis-à-vis the ministry of finance, the ministry of culture is not releasing the support funds we are due. We have never faced such a critical situation in our 27 years as an organization promoting contemporary, interdisciplinary art. It is a bureaucratic matter, nothing to do with policy or censorship, yet more and more Israeli cultural organizations like ours are finding it increasingly difficult to continue to work here.

Artists and curators from Canada, Chile, China, Germany, India, Poland, Slovakia, and Thailand are on their way here, notwithstanding the increasing difficulty in collaborating with Israelis. These guests will be joining fifteen Israeli artists in what is supposed to be the tenth anniversary of ZAZ Festival. We are doing all we can to make it come to pass.

 

 

 

Thursday, December 3

19:30 pm

Performance Art Platform

Sales exhibition

Works by fifty artists on sale to support the PAP.

Curated by Killy Koren

 

9 pm

Performance Art Platform

Opening event and performances

30 NIS (NIS 20 for students, seniors and Tel Aviv residents)

 

Friday, December 4

11 am – 2 pm

Performance art workshop led by

Rokko Juhász (Slovakia)

NIS160

For registration please call 03-5372096

 

Saturday, December 5

6 pm

Performances throughout New Central Bus Station, Tel Aviv

Free admission

 

8 :30 pm

Performance Art Platform

Performances

NIS 30 (NIS 20 for students, seniors and Tel Aviv residents)

 

Sunday, December 12

4 pm

Open presentations

Performance artists from abroad present and discuss their work 

NIS 10 (including refreshments and coffee)

 

Monday, December 7

6 pm

Meeting at the School of Visual Arts, Jerusalem

 

Thursday, December 10

6 pm

Tveria15 Community Center

15 Tiberias Street, Haifa

Performances by graduates of the annual performance workshop led by Tamar Raban

 

Friday, December 11

10 am – 2 pm

Performance art workshop led by

Rokko Juhász (Slovakia)

NIS160

For registration please call 03-5372096

 

9 pm

Tveria15 Community Center

15 Tiberias Street, Haifa

Performances

Free admission

 

Saturday, December 12

11 am

Wadi Nisnas, Haifa

Part of the Holiday of Holidays Festival events

Performances

Free admission

 

Performance Art Platform  

116 Levinsky Street

4th floor (ground level), Gate 41

Tel Aviv Central Bus Station

 

Due to the festival’s dynamic character, programs and sites of activity are subject to change.

 For additional information and updates, please visit our website at

 www.miklat209.org.il

 

ZAZ Festival is supported by the Israel Ministry of Culture – מינהל התרבות; Foreign Office; Tel Aviv-Yafo Municipality; Art Year; Tel Aviv New Central Bus Station; Haifa Municipality; Holiday of Holidays Festival; Hadar Community; Canada Council for the Arts; City of Dusseldorf; Chiang Mai University; Phoenix Labs

 

Festival Staff

Production Manager: Hili Fridberg

Production: Raz BDV

Technical Manager: Ran Nahmias

Graphic Design: Beni Kori

 

 

 

Performance Art Platform