I’ve been singing Lovers In A Dangerous Time by the Canadian singer Bruce Cockburn over the last week or so. A perfect song, an anthem for my trip around Jaffa yesterday as I activated my friend’s project Love in Digital Times. Green stickers, sustainable cities. Conflict. Peace. World Environment Day. A lot of messages.
Stephen Ibbott, a painter and artist from Toronto had sent me some “green” stickers in the mail, and I had an assignment to place them around the city and photograph them. I like these interactive art happenings, like the peace box sent to me by a New York artist a few years ago (picture below). Using World Environment Day yesterday as my D-Day, I set off with baby on my back to stick Stephen’s hand-painted stickers around the city. I guess I am advertising myself as a vandal. But in the name of love? Worth it. Some more images follow, with brief explanations why I chose the spots I chose.
In the above picture, I found a Ukranian woman, very tall and thin in a hot pink dress sashaying around Jaffa with an Israeli native. On one side is the new metropolis of Tel Aviv; and on the left which you can’t see is Old Jaffa, and a mosque. Old world and new world with love in the middle.
I chose this spot in Ajami, the neighborhood where the film Ajami takes place. It was a blank slate waiting for a little life and green love. The barbed wire on the left adds some effect, no? Portrayed in the movie as a violent place, I find Ajami actually to be quite quiet, and a good place to wander. It’s a neighborhood in transition as the rich move in, and the older generation move out to the burbs. Arabs and Jews living together, more or less peacefully.
This sticker marks a U-turn, but it comes at a junction where a lot of controversy in the city has been sparked. Should developers build on cemeteries? Every couple of months or so religious men come to protest as the builders of Andromeda (facing the legendary rock of Andromeda) continue to build. Cemetary is on right, new building for the affluent on the left. Just in front of the sign was a used condom. Love in a dangerous time. But not green. Makes me wonder about the possibility of recyclable condoms. Or recycling condoms. Or reusable condoms. Probably not a good idea.
Right down at the port on the Mediterranean Sea, I located another city bike share program, Tel-O-Fun, yet to be activated. Our love sticker matches perfectly, eh? This port is being rejuvenated, and it includes a cafe and restaurant that employs the deaf, and a restaurant that you eat in – in complete darkness (a bit scary) and served by blind people from the local community.
This is the East West House, a meeting ground for world music, music that lays the foundation for sustainable peace by focusing on Arab musical influences in Israel.
Below is me holding a box of peace. Know of any more interactive art projects that cross borders and share cultures? Send ideas in the comments section.