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IMAGINING A NEW REALITY
On May 30, 2020 Eyad al-Hallaq, a 32-year-old autistic Palestinian man who was shot and killed by Israeli Police in East Jerusalem. He was not armed and not threatening anyone. The incident was well documented and filmed, but the Israeli government refuses to release the video. My heart aches, there is no justice for Eyad.
In response, Yaniv Segal and I created an event in the public space that invited people to stop and imagine another reality, a different future, to imagine that things can be different. We created silence, 90 minutes of stopping everything, to rethink, to reflect, we must imagine and envision a new reality in order to create change.
REFLECTING HAPPINESS PROJECT
During the lockdowns and quarantines in Israel and around the world people are suffering from loneliness. Too many suicides due to the political and personal situation, there is no financial relief for those who lost their jobs. People are depressed, anxious and unnerved. The old systems are breaking down, more and more into the unknown. The world of art and performance has been completely shut down. Live shows and performances not allowed, no theater and no music concerts.
Throughout this time, I created an additional space. I felt that we need to create new spaces where we can be together. How do we spend time together now? I decided to open my home for a week, as part of a project that I called “Reflecting Happiness”, which is the opposite of sitting Shiva. Shiva is 7 day period of morning in Judaism following the burial of relatives. Shiva embraces a time when individuals discuss their loss and accept the comfort of others. The Shiva allows time of being together, a space to celebrate one's life and to be in various states of emotion, from deep sorrow and sadness to laughter and reliving old memories.
“Reflecting Happiness" is a space to celebrate life and our togetherness, a place to just be, to see each other with our eyes, to truly see each other, to meet, to listen, to share. My home was open for visitors for a week, I invited people to ask me for whatever they need from me. People who arrived could also choose out of a given a menu of options of being / activities / actions alongside coffee, tea and my homemade sweets. We danced, we practiced rituals and prayers of giving thanks, we held ceremonies for asking for a new apartment, we discussed art, politics and where we find ourselves within it all. We ate together and talked about the pain within our heart, about Judaism and spiritual journeys. We shared insights on how to cope with everyday life.
I am thankful to every person who participated and joined me in the project.
BEING THANKFUL PRACTICE
A space where we practice giving thanks and being in gratitude. A journey of words and thoughts, traveling the path by saying outload thank you for *things* in our lives, for *things* that exist and the way in which they exist in the world. The practice allows us to see and bless with our thanks the infinity, the abundance, the blessing we have been given, to see the creation and to be amazed at the world in which we exist. This practice can be practiced individually, with a partner or in a group. A video virsion of the project will soon be publushed, with the great film maker Zohar Melinek
Blessing being is a practice of singing, observing and actively giving blessings. It is a practice of channeling an action through the world of blessing, where language and sound create real change and impact, transforming our physical reality. The project included post on social media of singing prayers in Hebrew and creating direct eye contact with the observer, a space of breathing together, expanding and sharing time although we are not sharing space. The project also gave direct blessing on the phone, in person to individuals or in groups.
During the COVID-19 period I found myself quarantined with my husband for a month and half after returning from Ethiopia. We were in complete isolation, no one comes in, no one comes out, miracles happen. We decided to throw a quarantine party, every evening at 7:00 pm, so we won’t go crazy, to keep our sanity.
Every day we uploaded videos on social media of our daily quarantine party and it became a living space full of love, laughter, nonsense, and also of pain, togetherness and self-humor. People watched and followed us daily, giving feedback of how important our dancing was to their own daily quarantine routine.
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