Musrara, the Naggar Multidisciplinary School of Art and Society, was established in 1987, as a cultural institution training students in the fields of photography, new media, visual communication, phototherapy and new music.
The school utilizes various artistic and educational processes aimed towards creating social change, the empowerment of disadvantaged populations (children with special needs, youth at risk, Arab women from the Jerusalem periphery and more), the initiation and production of the Musrara Mix International Festival for Art and Society, the operation of three international galleries for contemporary art, the operation of a therapeutic center for the elderly in photography, the “Jerusalab” interactive lab, visual literacy education programs, even tours of Musrara Neighborhood and workshops for the general public visiting from Israel and abroad.
In the 1990s, Musrara School became the first in Israel to introduce the “Black Panthers” project as a documentary and historical project, as part of its social commitment as an institution which ties itself to its surroundings, the local history of Jerusalem and the neighborhood, as well as to the social history and cultural politics of Israel.
The project included a comprehensive exhibition, historical materials, contemporary portraits, and the publication of a book summarizing the history.
The Israeli Black Panthers movement was spearheaded by a group of young Jewish residents of the Musrara neighborhood in 1971.
It brought to the public eye the issues of poverty and negligence that prevailed in the neighborhood, the hardships of Jewish immigrants from North Africa, and the lack of awareness of their mainstream cultural values.
The Black Panthers’ opposition was characterized by protests, roadblocks, breaking and entering stores, and food distribution. These actions grabbed headlines in the local and international media.
Thus was born the meticulous working method of the school that continues to this day: a commitment to the surrounding neighborhood, from the past to the artistic present of young artists who come to Musrara and absorb the experience of social action and realize the potential sparked by the meeting of the artist and society.
Over the years, a multifaceted human fabric has been woven together at the school that is constantly developing and connecting people who, together, are strengthening the processes towards building an open civil society of mutual respect and tolerance.
The various works featured, represent many levels of Israeli society, which are boldly revealed through the personal biographies of the artists themselves, through their internal perspectives and their curiosity, exposing a fascinating multicultural slice of Israeli society and of the young artists living in Israel today.
It reflects the direction in which the art world must strive; to take a look at ourselves and at the environment that surrounds us, to examine the local and the personal, and to investigate the immediate space that inevitably leads to the global space.
It is this constant tension that brings about tolerance and deeper understanding of the other, creating both a fascinating and rewarding experience.
All photos courtesy Musrara
School Director & Chief Curator: Avi Sabag
Assistant Curator: Yael Brandt
For information please contact Dana Shahar, External Relations: