Sunday, April 28, 2013

אסתר הרטוג :חייל על הגג

במשך שלוש שנים שהתה אסתר הרטוג, במאית הולנדית-ישראלית, בקרב קהילת המתנחלים של חברון - בניסיון להבין את מניעיהם ולגלות את אורח חייהם מבפנים. בחברון ישנה קהילה יהודית של כ-800 מתיישבים, המאובטחים ומופרדים על ידי צה"ל מכ-120,000 הפלסטינים החיים בעיר. הרטוג מראיינת כמה מתנחלים מקומיים הפורשים בפניה באדיבות את התוכנית המשיחית של התיישבותם במקום. במקביל היא גם עוקבת אחרי ילדיהם המשוטטים ברחובות ולומדת להכיר את החיילים שהוצבו במקום. ההתבוננות הסבלנית בחיים היהודיים בחברון - ובהתנהלות היומיומית של המשטר הצבאי שמאפשר אותם - חושפת מציאות הזויה, ומצליחה לחדור אל מעבר לייצוגים התקשורתיים המוכרים של מתנחלי חברון.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Lighting a match under the 32 volumes of the Encyclopædia Britannica

In my defence, this was more of a cremation than a burning at the stake. The books were already dead, terminally rotted after years of neglect. If I had committed a crime, it was to let them get into this sorry state, not finally to put them out of their misery Read more...

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Champa Pottters

Handmade stoneware pottery made in Vietnam the way it has been done for centuries. Craftmanship and high firing in wood buring tunnel kilns creates these impressive oversized vessels. The kingdom of Champa ( or nagara Campa in Cham and Cambodian inscriptions, ; Chăm Pa in Vietnamese, 占城 Chiêm Thành in Hán Việt and Zhàn chéng in Chinese records) was a Hindu and Buddhist kingdom that controlled what is now Vietnam from approximately the 7th century through to 1832. The Cham people are the successor of this kingdom. They speak Cham, a Malayo-Polynesian language. See more at

Thursday, January 3, 2013

The Art of Mandur فن مندور

The man who works in pottery is called fakharani (after the word fokhkhar, meaning pottery). An experienced fakharani knows what shapes are in demand and in which season. He must be able to produce the shape of jars used during birth celebrations, the incense burner over which the mother has to step in subu, the celebration held on the seventh day after the birth of a baby. He can fashion jars that look like horses and roosters. And he can make fruit basins embellished with human faces. Fakharanis often keep the secrets of the trade in the family. To be a fakharani you have to come from a pottery making family. If you remember the old drinking jar, called zir, you’ll see that it has a conic bottom, which means that to keep it upright it has to sit on a metal contraption that is circular at the top. The design allows for better cooling and cleansing of the water, and has been also used by the Greeks and the Romans.
The artist Mohammad Mandur, who works mainly in pottery, says that pottery aesthetics improved remarkably in Roman times, and that Coptic monks modified the motifs to suit their beliefs, as did the Muslims later on. Mandur is a great admirer of Fatimid pottery, especially the pieces given a metallic glaze. He says that pieces that came from the Ayyubid and Mamluk periods were of exquisite quality, but things began to deteriorate under the Ottomans.