Interrupt This Program

Interrupt This Program: Jerusalem — Artists fighting for their own truth

"Jerusalem is definitely not a dead city. It's the most alive city." Inside the art world of the volatile, divided city.

'Jerusalem is definitely not a dead city. It's the most alive city.'

In a volatile, divided city in the heart of the Middle East, artists are fighting for their own truth and trying to keep their creative energy alive. 0:44

Stream Interrupt This Program: Jerusalem now!

In a volatile, divided city in the heart of the Middle East, artists are fighting for their own truth and trying to keep their creative energy alive. Watch the full episode online now, or on CBC  TV at 9:30PM on Sunday February 19th.

As one of the oldest cities in the world and of significance to followers of all three major religions, Jerusalem is constantly on edge. It is segregated into two distinct parts, East and West. In the streets, 18-year-old soldiers patrol the city with guns.

Artists in both parts of the city are using art to find and fight for their own truth and bring about peace amid the regular eruptions of violence. In this episode, we follow a Canadian comedian who uses satire to provoke and challenge, a dancer who improvises performances in the streets, a visual artist whose work interrogates relations between people and the notion of land, a dance collective bridging the gap between the religious and secular worlds, and a female hip-hop artist who sings about political realities. In their unique ways, each one keeps hope alive by carving out a space for their art in the city.

One of the most challenging things for an artist in Jerusalem is to sustain this energy and this hope.- Mirna Bamieh, visual artist
I'm a rabbi and teach, but I feel the best way for me to express all the things, all the thoughts, all the feelings is with my body.- Rabbi Hananya Schwartz, Ka'et dance ensemble
Jerusalem is definitely not a dead city. It's the most alive city, but it's also under a lot of conflict — every minute, every second.- Tzafira Stern, choreographer, dancer and poet
To disappear might be a charged action that makes you think 'why would this person want to disappear? Why does she want to make this brutal act on her body?'- Mirna Bamieh, visual artist
I always say 'Ah shit, why am I doing this? Why am I doing this?' But I can't really leave this when I know that I have the power to speak and sing about it.- Maysa Daw, singer
(Interrupt This Program)
I think Palestinians are tired of having our story being told in the same way all the time. Somehow you don't want to have the victim pitch anymore.- Mirna Bamieh, visual artist
Creating satire in a place where there's a bunch of dudes walking around with guns — that's an intense place to be creating art.- Aviva Zimmerman, satarist, creator of Avi Does the Holy Land

Living in Jerusalem you have always the conversation about danger and fear and death and happiness. Everything is clashed together.- Rabbi Hananya Schwartz, Ka'et dance ensemble

Art as political protest, as a means of survival, as an agent of change, as a display of courage and delight. Interrupt This Program explores art in cities under pressure. ​Watch the Jerusalem episode now and watch more episodes from Moscow and Lagos now.

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