MizrahAshkenaz

Artists’ House, TLV
March, 2016

Mizrahashkenaz is a project that rethinks Israeli identity through the eyes of fashion.
In Israel there are two main identity groups : Mizrahim and Askenasim.
Each relate to a different origin of Jewish immigrants who arrived to Israel in it’s early years Mizrahim (Easterns - Jews from muslim countries),  Ashkenazim (Westerns - Jews from Europe).
Along the years, the Israeli government, mainly composed of Ashkenazy, tried to fuse the two groups into one cohesive national identity - Zionist-Israeli.
 

This fuzen of cultures attempt created an ongoing conflict in the Israeli socity. Nevertheless, this merge, largely fueled by a racial agenda, did just the opposite; it created conflict and on going tension between the two groups. The conflict is frequently expressed though politics, culture and media and a cry for greater cohesion and social justice. 

Mizrahashkenaz hopes to create a safe arena for dialogue, a space for each group to express it's unique characteristics and preserve their identity.This dialog tries to reformulate a new Israeli fashion paradigm and create a Mizrahashkenaz collection - one where Mizrah and Ashkenaz exits together, side by side.

We started MizrahAshkenaz by inviting designers to submit a collection and to take part in creating this new Israeli Collection. In the proposal each designer should decide whether he/she sees him/her self as Ashkenazi or Mizrahi.
Upon review, our team will select two groups of designers representing each side. The works accpted into the MizrahAshkenaz project will then be documented and shared on social media. Designers' "work in processes" will be shared along with real time analysis and review articles by professional writers aimed at encouraging public discourse and a lively public debate.

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AXA.LAB
Architecture & Experimental Art Lab

Faculty of Architecture and Town Planning, Technion, Haifa