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(photo credit: PR)
In Israel, the word “coexistence” is bandied around a lot. For some it represents an ideal, while for others an impossibility. For Nir Nader and Dani Ben- Simhon, the founders and curators of the annual Bread and Roses art exhibition, coexistence is a reality.
This year, the Worker’s Advice Center and Sindiyana of the Galilee will hold the 11th Bread and Roses Exhibition and Art Sale at the Tel Aviv Artists’ Studio.
More than 350 artists donated works this year, and the proceeds of the sale will go to the Women and Work project.
For artist Fahed Halabi, the goals of this project strike very close to home. The seventh of 14 children, Halabi observed his mother throughout the years. Her life and the struggles she encountered opened his eyes to widespread inequality, which became the inspiration for one of his series, titled “Women.” Two of the paintings from this series will be on sale over the weekend.
Haled, 46, was born and raised in a Druse community in the Golan Heights. He moved to Tel Aviv as a young man to study art and from there to Germany, where he currently lives.
“My work about women comes from my personal life, my home, my mother who worked very hard in life,” says Halabi over the phone. “Her whole life she just worked and had children. When I grew up and started to understand life, I automatically and spontaneously identified with her. My work stems from there, from identifying with the woman who is closest to me. With time, I saw that there isn’t equality and there isn’t freedom for women. And I don’t mean just in fundamentalist places but everywhere – in Israel, too. A lot of women are living under fundamentalism, even if they’re living in a democratic and open nation.”
Halabi’s family is strongly connected to the arts. In fact, two of his sisters donated works to Bread and Roses. The Women and Work initiative, of which Sindiyana of the Galilee is a major part, provides practical training for Arab women in a variety of fields.
Many of the leaders of the program began as trainees and have now found gainful employment.
“When I was a student in Tel Aviv, I met Dani and Nir. From the beginning, I got that they were nice and positive and that their political beliefs were like mine, that they were from the real Left. That speaks to me.
They want peace and equality, not as a slogan but as a real thing. I knew that the goal of the exhibition was positive and that it helps women; I saw that it’s a good place to donate. Beyond the donation of artists, it is a social and cultural manifest of Jews and Arabs that repeats itself each year, and it presents the possibility to work and live together. This event is really the right place to give to fulfill coexistence,” says Halabi.Bread and Roses will take place on December 30 and 31 at the Tel Aviv Artists’ Studio. For more information, visit www.wac-maan.org.il.