New Film: “Tearing Down Walls”by Solly Elfaks, about the Course “Art, Activism and Public Space”
The film documents, reviews, and describes the legendary course, “Art and Activism in the Public Space,” at the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in Jerusalem. For a decade, Solly Elfaks follows art activism projects that are collaborations between art students and residents of the Gonnenim/Katamonim neighborhood in Jerusalem, in the struggle to save the Train Track Park. The projects include creating an alternative to the planned highway, interventions in the public space, bringing down walls, and the design and construction of street libraries which operate 24/7 and have become a Jerusalem neighborhood icon. The film comprises documentation of work processes and outcomes, interviews with lecturers and students at the art academy and with residents of the neighborhood directly affected and of the adjacent Arab neighborhood of Beit Safafa. It poses questions about the relationships between the academic world and the community, art and activism, and the right to public space as part of the struggle for equal rights and to help communities to make their voices heard.