A participatory art project by Paz Ponce
& Eran Eizenhamer in Lod _ May 2017
THE DREAMERS, which proposes a walk through the historic city of Lod based on a collection of oral stories involving the dreams of several generations of its residents. We borrowed some thoughts from German jewish cultural critic and philosopher Walter Benjamin, who believed that dreaming participates in history too, and from scientist and philosopher G.C. Lichtenberg, who wondered why our whole history is only that of awake men? How come nobody ever considered a history of sleeping men?
So we considered these thoughts and reframed these questions in the form of an archive of dreams, inviting the public later to experience the city through the unconscious lens of the others. In this project Eran and I are interested in playing with the ambiguity of the word “dream” (in Hebrew, Arabic, English and German), and we will ask people to recall a specific one. The resulting collection of oral stories will be then assembled in a community radio format, as one line of voices in different languages – mixing events, projections, desires, fictional and future scenarios and mindscapes in the liminal space between the real and the surreal.
For us it’s important to vocalize all these coexisting layers of narration and visions of life attached to our daily conversational routines, and we want to open a time to fade to simple things: like the acts of listening and imagining. Empathic minimal gestures which can become incredibly powerful political dialogues, depending on the context where the question is formulated: can you tell me a dream?
The project focuses on Ramat Eshkol, a neighbourhood in the mixed jewish-arab city of LOD/LYDDA, 15km southeast of Tel Aviv originated by several historic waves of immigrants and political exiles. After long standing inter-ethnical clashes, integration struggles and equality challenges that emerged in these areas, these communities who live side by side for generations often ask themselves: what do we have in common?
Well, we propose to start with dreams.
In a context of intergenerational migration stories, THE DREAMERS appropriates the etymological parallelism of movement implicit between the active subject of the immigrant and the way he/she takes (in German “Die Einwanderer” is the migrant, the walker in or towards a direction), therefore the choice to publish this dreamers’ archive as a 30 minutes (sleep)walk through a specific route. With this identification, we want to add “walking” alongside the acts of “listening” and “imagining” as simple yet powerful forms of (political) dialogue.
THE DREAMERS COMMUNITY RADIO will be later made available online (Soundcloud) and shared with the public through an interactive walk. Supported by a map with an index of dreams and places, the walkers will (sleep) walk through the city of Lod arriving at Khan El Hilu (a former caravansary, an inn for travelers and merchants from the Ottoman Era located at the core of the medieval city of Lydda). At this resting point festival participants will be invited to tell a dream of their own and add it to THE DREAMERS community radio channel.
Produced in the frame of a tandem cooperation between Jindas Urban Regeneration Lod, Center for Contemporary Art Tel-Aviv, Artport Tel-Aviv Jaffa, Agora Collective e.V. (Berlin) and B_Tour (Berlin). Presented during “Drisat Regel Festival – B_Tours Tel-Aviv/Jaffa/ Lod” 17 – 20 May 2017. Curated by Iris Pshedezki, Gili Zaidman and Yael Sherill. This tandem was supported through Mifal HaPais Council for the Culture and Arts, and The German Israeli Future Fund (Stiftung Deutsch-Israelische Zukunftsforum)
Photo documentation and drawings by Paz Ponce
THE DREAMERS: LOD
COMMUNITY DREAM STREAM
THE DREAMERS MAP by Eran Eizenhammer
ORIENTATION GUIDE FOR ENGLISH SPEAKERS by Paz Ponce