In 2020, Frankfurt and Tel Aviv-Yafo have been celebrating the 40th anniversary of their city partnership. As head of the Women’s Department, I am very happy that this important project is being launched by Frankfurt.
home.frankfurt.telaviv is unique. In times of corona, right-wing terror, and anti-feminism, it sets an example of solidarity and social cohesion. During the corona pandemic, the precarious situation of female and feminist artists and the importance of culture for society have become particularly apparent.
I am certain that home.frankfurt.telaviv will provide important inspiration and increase the visibility of feminist artists. I will be following the work of the artists on the subject of home in the digital gallery, and I will be visiting their analogue exhibitions. I am very curious to see what will be created over the next two years.
Head of the Departments of Environment and Women
Foto: Christina Clasen
With our long-term exhibition series “Dialogues between Word and Image,” we contribute, as a women’s department, to greater visibility and networking among female and feminist artists. This is also the starting point of the new home.frankfurt.telaviv project. For the first time, we are working with feminist artists from both Frankfurt and Tel Aviv-Yafo.
Why this project? Because women are paid less, get fewer exhibitions, and do not receive as much recognition. Many female and feminist artists are confronted with these global phenomena. We are counteracting these forces with this project.
Our foremost objective is to empower feminist perspectives in the arts across borders and generations. Art and culture make significant contributions to gender equality and democracy. Beyond labelling and prejudices, we are creating a common space for art and feminism.
Head of the Frankfurt Women’s Department
Foto: Katharina Dubno
At the end of 2019, when it was still possible to travel between countries and meet up with people, a delegation of the municipality of Tel Aviv-Yafo set out to Frankfurt with the objective to meet and brainstorm joint projects for the two cities. During this meeting, a dialogue as well as relationships were formed, paving the way for creation of a project to unite gender, community and art.
Together, we developed ideas and soon came up with a common vision: to strengthen the visibility of feminist artists and their art. Our joint project strives to break down stereotypes and make room for shared perspectives and utopias. In this German-Israeli exchange, we want to create space for encounters and relationships defined by feminists and artists.
We dreamed of holding a joint exhibition for the two cities. It was clear to us all that the exhibition would entail universally feminist ideas. Questions with regard to bonding and belonging would be addressed as well as the subjective local experiences of female and feminist artists – all to be examined by both cities on a topic to be chosen.
The world of culture and art have suffered greatly during this pandemic. We almost gave up on this project; however, resourcefulness and outside-the-box thinking led us to the creation of a web residency project.
Interdisciplinary and intersectional interactions among artists allow for solidarity and collective perspectives in times of global division and isolation. In the context of social crises and a global pandemic, we need, more than ever, frameworks which allow for visibility and solidarity.
Our topic: home
home has become a very complex term in 2020. On the one hand, a home protects you from the world and the raging pandemic. On the other hand, the long periods at home have exposed power structures and gender gaps.
“Invisible” workers and inequality took on new dimensions during this period. We hope that this virtual space will provide a feminist gender lens both universal and local during these difficult and strange times.
It is our aim to organize tangible analogue exhibitions in the two partner cities within the next two years. In the meantime, we will use our web residencies.
This exhibition would not have been possible without the support of Yonit Stern, Director of International Exchanges – Municipality of Tel Aviv-Yafo and Marlies Denter, Municipal Youth Education Center – Municipality of Frankfurt, who led the delegations so skillfully for Frankfurt and Tel Aviv-Yafo. The partnership with Anat Eizik Caspi and the Resilience & Social Equality Authority contribute to the success of the project.
Gratitude and appreciation go out to the curator Sonia Müller and to our advisor Michal Schwartze.
And of course, a big thanks to all of our leaders in the Community, Culture and Sport departments and to which allowed us to dream and fulfil those dreams.
Advisor for policies for girls and culture at Department of Women‘s Affairs
Advisor for Community and Visual Arts Programs, Arts Department
Director of Community Relations, South East Community Department
Fotos: Katharina Dubno, Sheer Issar, Talya Galam
What does home mean? Translated into German, home means “heimat” and also “zuhause” – a place where one lives permanently or to which one feels belonging, a country of origin, or one’s nationality. More interesting, however, is the question – what could home be?
Home can be a space that allows us to be creative or a place of retreat, also an inner retreat. Home has to do with childhood memories or memories of loved ones. Home can be an anchor in an ocean of uprootedness or evoke utopias of being at home. And sometimes we suppress, and do not want, a notion of home.
For me home is first and foremost a feeling – a feeling closely tied to places. Places that evoke a sentiment in me – to put it plainly, a feeling of coziness. It is nice to let yourself drift into this mood without much thinking, but difficult at the same time because our knowledge and our minds connect this feeling of home with origin.
Places where you feel at home are not necessarily those to which you are bound in terms of family and culture. These are countries, cities, or (inner) spaces that allow for a life of one’s own. home can become unreachable, idealized as paradise lost. Can it be said that home has become a precious commodity in today’s world?
In our context, however, it is also important to ask artistic questions. home.frankfurt.telaviv asks artists from both cities about their concepts of being at home. The choice of topic is not accidental. During the lockdown, we all faced the issue of home. Across borders and unwillingly. People around the world tried to get to their home as quickly and safely as possible. Not all succeeded. Others were trapped in places where they lived, but which they may not have called home. Still others have a different idea of being at home: one shaped by activities that involve their surroundings and, above all, other people.
Artists, creators, and cultural mediators are challenged to find new ways of reaching the public. This web residency project aims to create a public space enabling artistic encounters between Frankfurt and Tel Aviv. The aim is not to present a finished work of art, but rather the artists are being invited to present the process of their work online within the thematic framework of home. We understand the web residency as a contemporary, innovative, and flexible format for supporting artists, and not just in times of pandemic. We look forward to continuing to use digital spaces to enable new ways of artistic practice, art mediation, and international exchange.
Dr. Sonja Müller
Foto: Katharina Dubno
The Tel-Aviv-Yafo Municipality is a beacon of social equality and a leading advocate of liberal values in Israel. The city is home to an especially large number of women and 23% of all families living in the city are single-parent families headed by a woman.
At the present time, when Covid-19 is challenging people’s lives around the world, when one’s home is not only the place you live in, but also the place you are sometimes not allowed to leave – this initiative, in the form of a work created by all the artists, will reflect not only their aspirations, talent and creativity, but will also echo their current thoughts on the concept of home.
The gender implications of the pandemic are witnessed by a growing incidence of gender and sexual violence that is coupled with higher unemployment rates among women.
This digital home, this project’s website, is home to artists from Frankfurt and Tel-Aviv-Yafo, who are together under the same roof and facing similar global circumstances.
Let’s celebrate this shared space, the expanse of freedom to express ourselves and be part of the change we wish to see.
Efrat Makin Knafo
Head of the resilience & Social Equality Authority, Mayor Advisor for Gender Equality
Anat Eizik Caspi
Director of Resilience & cities Partnerships
Fotos: Efrat Makin Knafo, Anat Eizik Caspi
Life this year has been shaken by the Corona plague that has overtaken the world, bringing uncertainty, anxiety and insecurity. Especially in a period like this, home for me is an anchor, it is the safe and protective place. And so is the act of art.
The home project as its name implies – is a home for the artists and for everyone who takes part in it. The female partnership leads him to be a protected space, where we are given the opportunity to observe the period we are going, through different home spaces (physical and mental), and while creating, exploring and converging we are questioning and clinging to the question of life.
Tslilit Ben Nevat
Director of Arts Department Tel Aviv-Yafo Municipality
Foto: Tslilit Ben Nevat
Even though it still experiences various challenges, it is a fascinating area where the residents have had a hand in its immense growth. The great artists that came out of these neighborhoods, the cultural traditions and community development, all contribute to the South of Tel Aviv becoming a staple in our history and society.
We all define home in different ways. For me, it is somewhere where I can be myself and find happiness. It is where I feel loved and cherished. All these and more are so apparent in these neighborhoods and the people who made them their home. The incredible warmth, hospitality, and kindness are what the people of these neighborhoods display so strongly and openly. It is what makes this place a manifestation of home.
Head of the Community division in South Tel Aviv
Foto: Alma Shiran
@ Sheer Issar
Advisor for Community and Visual Arts Programs