Cry the Beloved Country (2017/2020) 

A room installation based on outdoors performances in London and Tel-Aviv. 

 

"The Holocaust should bring us to ponder our public lives and, furthermore, it must lead anyone who is capable of taking public responsibility to do so," Golan said. "Because if there is one thing that is scary in remembering the Holocaust, it is noticing horrific processes which developed in Europe – particularly in Germany – 70, 80, and 90 years ago, and finding remnants of that here among us in the year 2016…It's scary to see horrifying developments that took place in Europe begin to unfold here…"

IDF deputy chief, Yair Golan in a Holocaust Memorial Day, Israel, 5th May 2016

 

“We now have a law that confirms the Arab population as second-class citizens. It, therefore, is a very clear form of apartheid. I don’t think the Jewish people survived for 20 centuries, mostly through persecution and enduring endless cruelties, in order to now become the oppressors, inflicting cruelty on others. This new law does exactly that. That is why I am ashamed of being an Israeli today."

Daniel Barenboim on the Basic Law: Israel as the Nation-State of the Jewish People, Today, I Am Ashamed to Be an Israeli (July 22, 2018), Haaretz.

 

The work “Cry, the beloved country” is an installation based on the performance The Emperor’s New Clothes that took place in the Independence Hall, 16 Rothschild Boulevard, Tel Aviv, in October 2017. The performance took place in the week it was revealed that the Education Ministry had lifted the ban on racist expression by pupils in their Citizenship Studies final exam. Another performance took place in Trafalgar Square, London, on November 1st, on the eve of the centenary of the Balfour Declaration.

 

The work was initially created as a response to the murder by arson of the Palestinian Dawabsheh family by Israeli settlers in 2015 and by the increasing number of racist comments made by Israeli politicians, rabbis and right-wing activists in the past few years.  The initial stage of the work consisted of collecting these quotes and comparing them to similar expressions uttered by other extreme right-wing ideologues. This comparison showed close similarities in both the underlying issues and rhetoric.  

 

The installation is composed of the comparative texts, a mannequin dressed in a white uniform adorned by Zionist symbols and a Ku Klux Klan costume made partly from the Jewish prayer shawl of the artist which he received for his Bar-Mitzvah ceremony. It also includes photographic documentation of the performances in London and Tel Aviv.