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Workshop participants lean over a table to discuss their writing proposals.

A contested home: healing through art and storytelling


How can art be used to acknowledge conflicting narratives of "home"? In this podcast, Avigail Manneberg, a Minneapolis-based artist and adjunct faculty member in the University of Minnesota Department of Art, and Sonja Kuftinec, a professor in the University of Minnesota Department of Theater Arts and Dance, discuss their project "A Contested Home," which uses art and storytelling to engage themes of forced migration and displacement in the Galilee.

Their project focuses on a single geographical space called "home" by two different groups: the village of Ya'ad/Mi'ar in the Galilee region of northern Israel. The village of Ya’ad was built in the 1970s and settled by Israeli Jews next to the ruins of the village of Mi’ar, whose Palestinian descendants continue to live in the area. Working with local artists and partners, Manneberg and Kuftinec held workshops focused on personal Mi'ari family narratives and testimonials to confront taboo narratives of forced displacement.

Photo: Jewish artist group from Ya'ad write proposals after a workshop where they encountered Palestinian testimonials. Proposal examples: designing a multi-layered interactive map that would integrate erased names of locations around Ya’ad and Mi’ar, creating a platform for elderly people from Mi’ar to tell their stories to young people from Ya’ad, and mapping a trail of the area to be connected with audio where specific testimonies will be provided via cell/web connection.

This project was made possible by funding from the Human Rights Initiative.