Muslala is a nonprofit organization established in 2009 by artists, residents and community activists in the Musrara neighborhood in Jerusalem. The organization, which is based in Musrara, generates and runs art exhibitions, urban “art-tracks,” guided tours, a community garden and art workshops; in addition, it has recently opened an active meeting and study center and an exhibition space. Muslala wishes to produce a new model that combines artistic activity with a social orientation. Most of the activities take place outdoors in the public realm, with ripples affecting the neighborhood and its surroundings in East and west Jerusalem and beyond.
The Musrara Neighbourhood:
The setting for this buzz of activity is a microcosm of Israeli society today. Musrara was built in the mid-19th century as the first luxury neighborhood outside the Old City walls; it was split in two during the 1948 war, and became part of the no-man's zone between Israel and Jordan. After 1948, it was populated by impoverished Jews from Arab countries, and characterized by neglect, deprivation and violence. This period led to the rise of the Black Panthers, whose roar for justice still resonates in Israeli society to this day.
After the war of 1967, renovations and changes that were part of an urban renewal project brought established new populations. Currently, the neighborhood is comprised of both Jewish and Arab residents, long-established families, ultra-orthodox Jews, internationals working with different organizations, students, artists, and more. The contiguity of these contrasting communities in a relatively small area adjacent to the border between East and West highlights the differences in culture and religious practices, as well as the socioeconomic disparities; all of these lend themselves to a potentially unhealthy and dysfunctional social fabric.
Muslala is generously supported and encouraged by the Jerusalem Municipality, Lev HaIr Community Council, the Jerusalem Foundation, Pratt Foundation, the Russell Berrie Foundation and others.
The Muslala Group operates on the premise that the power of art and creativity can alter ways of thinking and the conduct of society and individuals. The work we do is meant to promote the transformation of Jerusalem into an open and creative society in which every person is enabled to express and fulfill himself or herself.
We believe that art is the only multi-cultural and international language and thus must be accessible, communicative and a key tool in creating a dialogue between people, groups, communities and nations.
The Muslala Group offers a platform for artists from various fields to work and create in Musrara and in Jerusalem’s "no man's land." The emphasis is on the creation of art in the public domain and on maintaining an open dialogue with local communities - many of whose members are not regularly exposed to artistic creation and often shy away from art-related approaches. We generate activities throughout the year in the belief that deep change comes out of continuous and constant action - like planting and then tenderly cultivating a seed that grows into a tree laden with fruit.
The Muslala Group currently numbers 16 members, seven of whom form the central core. The group consists of various circles, some of which overlap – a curating and project management team, workshop staff, tour guides, the community garden team and since the group is a registered non-governmental organization, an executive board, audit committee, etc. The workshop is open every weekday, the community garden is open 24/7, the curating team meets once a week, and other teams meet as needed.
To download a printable map of Muslala - click on the map above
For a guided tour, more information or any thought or comment –