Night Light brings music and art to Neve Sha’anan

Live concerts, free art shows and delicious Eritrean food will be on offer during the two-night celebration.

BEN HAGARY To us Freedom.  (photo credit: COURTESY KIBBUTZ BEERI)
BEN HAGARY To us Freedom.
(photo credit: COURTESY KIBBUTZ BEERI)
The sixth edition of Tel Aviv’s Night Light festival will open on Thursday January 16 with a unique focus on the urban landscape of Neve Sha’anan. The streets were originally designed in 1921 to resemble a menorah, and the festival lights up the long winter nights in early 2020 by offering guided exploration of food, music and art.
Adults will enjoy exploring some of the fascinating artwork on display, such as Halo by Polish artist Karolina Halatek, which invites visitors to float in light, or interact with “Grill the Cat,” a traveling installation by Barak Siman Ob offering tasty treats from the streets of the neighborhood. Children are warmly invited to visit with their parents and enjoy street theater or folk tales from Sudan, all free of charge.
Those who prefer music to art will be able to enjoy Israeli rock band The White Screen as well as Congolese music by Bilenge Musica and Eritrean music by Chura Band.
Speaking with The Jerusalem Post, festival artistic director Ivry Baumgarten said that the values of Night Light always “touch on communities, history and the connection between people in public spaces.”
He added that Night Light is meant to function as a form of activism, reducing gaps and perceived stereotypes between social groups, “and create change in the urban space of south Tel Aviv.”
Reflecting the diverse ethnic composition of the neighborhood, guests will be able to enjoy a feast organized by Kitchen Talks of Eritrean dishes made for the holiday of Lidet, which is Orthodox Christmas as observed in that country on January 7.
A unique blending of social activism and the growing interest many Israelis show toward the various culinary traditions in this land, Kitchen Talks provides meeting points for interaction between migrant and minority communities and other Israelis. As those involved prepare food and share personal histories, there is a breaking of social barriers and the beginning of a new appreciation – and not just of the foods on the table. In this personalized guided workshop, and visitors will learn how to make teff flour injera and shirou, a stew made from hummus flour. It is advised to book ahead, as the number of guests is limited.
Dance lovers will enjoy the special performance by Batsheva Dance Company, created by Ohad Naharin. The performance will be held twice on Thursday evening on Pine Street:at 7:30 p.m. and 9 p.m.
Those who seek a heart-to-heart experience might opt to visit the Kuchinate African Refugee women’s collective. A Tigrinya word meaning “crochet,” Kuchinate offers handmade baskets and rugs created by the women, many of whom are asylum seekers. Visitors will be able to enjoy a cup of Eritrean coffee with the women and hear about their lives and work in this country.
The children’s section of the festival will be located on 28 HaGara Street. The street theater for children, by the Karon Theater, will take place on Saturday January 11 at 4:30 p.m. Sudanese folk tales will be enjoyed at the same location at 6 p.m. Admission is free.
More details about the festival and the events on offer can be found at secrettelaviv.com


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