To many observers the Israeli-Palestinian conflict seems intractable. Tensions grow between Israel on the one hand and her Arab neighbors and Turkey on the other, while friction between Jews and Muslims in their respective Diasporas deepens. Yet there are many Israelis and Arabs, Jews and Muslims who have devoted themselves for decades to establishing dialogue. Artists in literature and music, on stage and screen, have been pivotal to efforts to identify common ground. They have responded to the conflicts between their respective communities not only in their own separate enclaves, isolated from one another, but also together in bold collaborative projects such as hybrid musical ensembles and theatrical cooperatives. Most people in the West are unaware of these efforts. The Jewish Studies Program, the McIntire Department of Music, and the Department of Middle Eastern and South Asian Languages and Cultures at the University of Virginia, with the support of the McIntire Department of Art History, announce a symposium to explore these bridge-building projects.
“Common Ground: Dialogue between the Jewish and Islamic Worlds through Art,” which takes place on Sunday and Monday, March 3-4 at UVA, will bring together scholars and artists from all over the world with those from the University. Traditional academic presentations will be complemented by artistic performances. Highlights of the conference include a keynote speech by Benjamin Brinner, professor of music at the University of California at Berkeley and author of Playing across a Divide: Israeli-Palestinian Musical Encounters; a humorous one-man show by Ibrahim Miari, born in Israel to a Palestinian father and Jewish mother; a concert by the Central Asian Ensemble Shashmaqam, whose music, performed by Jews and Muslims from Central Asia, fuses their musical traditions; a lecture by Benny Ziffer, author and editor of the cultural section of Israel’s most important newspaper, Ha‘aretz; and a poetry reading by Naomi Shihab Nye, an acclaimed American poet of Palestinian descent whose work accentuates the commonalities of different peoples, including Muslims and Jews.
All performances and lectures at “Common Ground: Dialogue between the Jewish and Islamic Worlds through Art,” which is made possible by a generous award from the Page-Barbour Interdisciplinary Scholarly Initiative, are open to the public and the entire University
community and are free of charge.
For information on the symposium contact: Deborah Galaski (firstname.lastname@example.org), Symposium Producer.
Play: In Between, a humorous, semi-autobiographical one-man show, by Ibrahim Miari, son of a Palestinian Muslim father and Jewish Israeli mother. Sunday, March 3, 2013 at 1:00 pm at the OHill Forum.
Concert: An evening of Central Asian classical and folk music and dance by the renowned New York-based Ensemble Shashmaqam. Sunday, March 3, 2013 at 8:00 pm in Old Cabell Hall.
Poetry Reading: Palestinian-American poet Naomi Shihab Nye will read selections from her award-winning poetry, which focus on themes of heritage, peace and the humanitarian spirit. Monday, March 4, 2013 at 1:30pm in the Newcomb Hall Gallery. Made possible with support from the Department of English.
Gabriel Finder, Director, Jewish Studies Program
Richard Will, Chair, McIntire Department of Music
Farzaneh Milani, Chair, Department of Middle Eastern and South Asian Languages and Cultures
Joel Rubin, Director of Music Performance, McIntire Department of Music
Sunday, March 3
|12:00 noon||Opening Reception||O'Hill Forum|
|1:00 pm||Performance: "In Between" A one Man Show by Ibrahim Miari||O'Hill Forum|
|3:00 pm||Coffee Break||O'Hill Forum|
|3:30 pm||Keynote Address by Dr. Benjamin Brinner (UC Berkeley)||O'Hill Forum|
|5:00 pm||Dinner Break|
|8:00 pm||Performance by the Ensemble Shashmaqam||Old Cabell Hall|
Monday, March 4
|9:00 am||Central Asian Music Panel with Dr. Razia Sultanova (University of Cambridge) and Dr. Evan Rapport (The New School). Discussion will be moderated by Dr. Shawn Lyons (UVA).||Newcomb Hall Gallery|
|10:45 am||Coffee Break||Newcomb Hall Gallery|
|11:00 am||Lecture by Benny Ziffer||Newcomb Hall Gallery|
|12:15 pm||Lunch Break|
|1:30 pm||Poetry reading by Naomi Shihab Nye||Newcomb Hall Gallery|
Visit the Jewish Studies Program website for more information.