Jerusalem highlights March 4-10

What's new to do in Israel's capital?

 Officer Azoolay (photo credit: IDO RAZ)
Officer Azoolay
(photo credit: IDO RAZ)

FRIDAY, MARCH 4

Come see paintings by Zimbabwean artist Tafadzwa Tega at the Gordon Gallery (5 Hazerem St., Tel Aviv, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.) as part of its Africa First series of exhibitions. Co-created by gallery director Amon Yariv and Africa First founder Serge Tiroche (of Tiroche Auction House), this exhibition is the first in six exhibitions, mostly solo ones, offering a special chance to see the best contemporary art by African artists.

While most will be held in Tel Aviv, some will be at the gallery’s Jerusalem space (Mercaz Sapir, building #3, third floor).

Titled “Zumbani” (Lemon Bush) which is what the Shona people, a Bantu-speaking majority group in Zimbabwe, call the plant. These paintings refer to the local practice of taking vanity self-portraits. African migrants put on their best clothes and go to a studio to be photographed with a colorful background behind them. 

In this exhibition, Tega often paints lemon bush in the background due to its medical usage, which Shona people recognize. He himself left his native country and currently lives in South Africa. 

In two works, “Magweta” (Lawyers) and “Vaskana Vanegumi” (Ten Girls), the human figure is doubled. Those curious about this twin-like image might explore “Land of Ibeji” by Bénédicte Kurzen and Sanne De Wilde, which explores West-African views on the subject of twins. See: bit.ly/3so4Yep 

If you are already in the first Hebrew City, don’t miss “Saddle Point” by Itamar Stamler and Inbar Hagai at Hamidrasha (19 Hayarkon St.). These two VR works let you enter a fantasy voyage of desire.

SATURDAY, MARCH 5

Do you like Greek music? If so, don’t miss the chance to see the amazing 2019 bio-pic My Name Is Eftihia by Greek songwriter (take a deep breath) Eftichia Papagianopoulos. Despite having written the lyrics for such hits as “Life Has Two Doors” (Dio Portes Exei Zoi) she was fairly unknown and had only come to the public’s attention following her death in 1972.

At 9:30 p.m. at the Jerusalem Cinematheque. Note: the film is in Greek with Hebrew subtitles. For tickets: jer-cin.org.il/en/movie/52942 

SUNDAY, MARCH 6 

Around 70 women from different groups living in Jerusalem take part in “Our Women,” a tourism project on the unique tapestry of life in the capital, featuring meetings with local women to learn their perspectives.

Among the offerings is a musical tour of Ein Karem with Polish singer Olga Mieleszczuk (English, Polish, Hebrew) and a Jewish astrology workshop with Nachmi Kadelburg (Hebrew). Book a tour via email: [email protected] or call (02) 629-8154; to explore the options see: women-jerusalem.com/language/en/our-women/ 

MONDAY, MARCH 7 

Throughout March, Yonatan Nir Films will offer a special focus on films directed by women. Today at 8 p.m. the 2020 film In the Director’s Chair Sits a Woman will be shown online followed by a 9:30 p.m. Zoom discussion with director Smadar Zamir. 

This remarkable documentary brings the personal histories of 26 (!) women filmmakers in this country. The 2016 documentary The Wonderful Kingdom of Papa Alaev, directed by Tal Barda, will be screened Sunday, March 13, at 8 p.m. followed by a Zoom meeting with the director. 

On Tuesday, March 29, the film Fishtale by director Emmanuelle Mayer will be screened at 8 p.m. followed by an online meeting with the film’s creator. No payment, but register online to access the movies and the panels via: www.yonatannir.com/online 

The films and the panels are in Hebrew with the exception of Fishtale, which explores the lives of English-speaking African migrants in this country. 

TUESDAY, MARCH 8 

Head to the TEO Art and Culture Center (168 Wingate St., Herzliya) at 7:30 p.m. and have your portrait painted by three members of the New Barbizon Group (Olga Kundina, Anna Lukashevsky, Natalia Zourabova) part of the We the Women opening. 

This is a massive exhibition in honor of International Women’s Day with 120 portraits of women in a variety of mediums (paintings is just one). The current exhibition is under a larger project by the Goethe-Institute Israel Don’t Tell Me How To Be A Woman. Free admission.

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 9 

Visit A Retrospective Gaze: 1971-2021, curated by Shlomit Bruer, a broad look at the paintings of Yemima Ergas Vroman now at the Jerusalem Artists’ House (12 Shmuel Hanagid St., 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.). 

Bruer is an established Jerusalem-based artist who has dealt in-depth with the theme of old vs new in urban spaces. Opened on Saturday, March 5, a Hebrew discussion of the exhibition will be held on Tuesday, March 15, at 5 p.m. with the artist. 

THURSDAY, MARCH 10

Work up a good sweat and do some charity at the same time by buying a NIS 108 one-month pass to get fit! The money is used to offer food baskets to families in need; you get not just a workout but tips on what to eat and how to form better habits. The locations change between winter and summer times. Contact personal trainer Shai Cohen for more information via his site: www.shaicohen055.co.il

FRIDAY, MARCH 11

Don’t miss Jerusalem-based painter Marek Yanai who will discuss half a century of figurative painting (in Hebrew) with curator Amichai Hasson at noon at Beit Avi Chai (44 King George St.). Admission is free but register online ahead of time. 

In works such as “Entrance in Beit Lehem Road,” “Mount Zion View from Abu Tor,” or “YMCA in White,” Yanai allows the eye to see Jerusalem in a new way, even if you lived in the city your entire life. 

Those worried about COVID-19 can view the exhibition online here: bit.ly/3K3QNkR (this is also the registration link) or call (02) 621-5300.

If you are into activism-based art, head to Hansen House at noon (14 Gedalyahu Alon St.) and encounter officer Az-Oly Yehe-yoter-tov (So maybe it will be better here). This clown-cop character was created two years ago by performance artist Idit (real name withheld), who attempts to bring love and peace to highly tense, and at times violent, clashes between the various groups living in Jerusalem and the police.

Throwing a good party? Opening an art exhibition or a new bar? Bringing in a guest speaker to introduce a fascinating topic? Why not drop me a line at [email protected] and let In Jerusalem know about it? Send emails with “Jerusalem Highlights” in the subject line. While all information is welcome, we cannot guarantee it will be featured in the column. Due to COVID-19 we advise readers to phone ahead or check online to ensure listed events have not been changed at the last minute.