Turkish Market, Haifa, Israel 2013

For an urban art event in Haifa, a city of mixed population, I took on a task- to learn from the locals to write in Arabic script.
I have lived here a long time, I see the letters everywhere, on signposts, packaging, posters… and yet it remains a mystery to me.

So I took a big sketchbook, and went out around the city, to the parks, the mall, the neighborhoods , to ask people, of all ages and walks of life, to write something out for me. I recorded as they explained what they had written.
For the opening of the event, in the Turkish Market, I prepared a large wall with chalkboard paint, set up a table and chairs, and asked people to write – either in my book or directly on the chalkboard; people contributed simple statements, poems, songs, biblical passages, sayings; and I copied them, over and over, till I got it right…
It was an excuse for an interaction, a gesture of respect for someone else’s culture, a simple exchange.
What remains? Not much.. the book of names and quotes, with the audio explanations,, the wall, alittle knowledge, and the memory of the human encounters.

The work was created for the event “Upper Space, Lower Space,” in the Turkish Market, Haifa, Israel.