All the details about the project are in here -
Between Green and Red
When the wall separating Jordan and Israel came down in the summer of 1967, the area known as Jerusalem's "No man's land" changed overnight. The stretch of land, which straddles both sides of the city, became a meeting point for the east and west, the old and new city, as well as the borderlines between green and red and a whole range of other colors and ideas.
With no guiding hand, permits or supervision, the space determined its own rules and order, and through a natural process of evolution, the watermelon sheds (bastas) became a place of refuge from the summer heat. Every evening, as the sun went down, the area between the Nablus and Mandelbaum Gates came to live and filled up with revelers. The Arabic-Hebrew partying sometimes carried on all night, and included delicacies like salty white cheese and watermelon, a round-the-clock bakery, hot cofee and open-air televisions screening action movies. This nighttime experience was open to everyone, rich and poor, tourists and residents, secular and religious, Jews and Arabs, and had one particular focus—watermelons, the knife to cut them, and the sweet cool taste of the fruit. Still today, anyone who remembers these summer nights gets an irresistible spark in their eye.
By the end of the 80s, all the sheds were closed: the initial innocence which characterized the space was replaced by suspicion and hostility, the municipality began enforcing new laws and regulations, issuing fines and regulating the space. Even the watermelons had their seeds removed, and the sheds were confined to a hazy nostalgia….
The sheds of "Between Green and Red" are meant as a tribute to these long-ago meetings. For the residents who still remember and for those who believe that in the final analysis—the watermelon is red. This is not an attempt to re-enact history exactly or an attempt to misrepresent the complex and harsh reality of the city, but rather an expression of hope that if we tie together all the success of the past with a great deal of creativity and imagination, art and joy, then maybe it will be possible, for just a short while, to experience how it could have been.
and how it will be some day.
Koko Deri, who will manage the sheds, was one of the founders of the Israeli "Black Panther" movement (and the only one who still lives in Musrara), invites all those who are interested to come hear about what
they fought for and how they lived. It is his stories and memories that have guided us as we planned the project.
Construction planner: David Behar-Perahia
The origin of the word basta (باسطة) in Arabic is a combination of the word basit (بسيط) which means simple in Arabic, and the verb bassat (بسط) which means to spread. It is exactly what the shed aims to do, to present products and ideas in the most simple way possible.
About the site: The aged Pistacia tree at the site preceded all of us. It is estimated to be 300 years old and was here long before any of the buildings that surround it now. At the end of the 19th century a large three-story building was constructed on the site directly opposite the Old City walls, and was abandoned after it was shelled in the 1948 war. After the fighting stopped, approximately 30 families of new immigrants arrived and took up residency in the abandoned building—a room for each family. Alongside the structure, a transit camp of shacks sprung up and a single tap with running water was set up under the Pistacia tree. Reuven Abergel lived in one of these shacks during the founding of the Black Panther movement, and his tiny booth-like home became aheadquarter for the movement. The shacks were destroyed after the Six Day War and the area abandoned. The land currently belongs to the Israel Land Authority and is leased out to The Zalman Shazar Center.
Special Projects – throughout the event :
The Shed Wall: along the back wall of the shed which borders the grounds of the Notra Dame Church, is an assemblage of art works and objects including: amulets and mirrors, high and low end art, pictures of pop-stars, kitsch and nostalgia, all of which hang together in genuine egalitarianism: an eclectic collection of artifacts, memorabilia, pictures and paintings.
Creator/curator: Nissreen Najjar, participating artists: Zvi Tolkovsky, Masha Zusman, Itzik Attias, Ayala Landau, Rozeen Nasr
VIP14: Ticho House, the Israel Museum, Jerusalem is hosted in the shed.
A Video-Art program interacting with the local color and atmosphere which deconstructs and re-constructs the area's complex and multi-layered reality.
Curator: Timna Seligman
Artists: Larry Abramson, Rifat Hattab, Dana Levy, Ariane Littman, Shahar Marcus, Moran Ovadia, Dafna Shalom, Maya Yadid, Yuval Yairi and Anat Bar-El.
Not a greenhouse and not a batich* / Shmulik Twig and Irit Manor:
The water used in the shed will be recycled and used in the greenhouse, to irrigate the "Red Hari " watermelon seedlings. The greenhouse which is as tempting as a fake oasis in a thorny landscape, invites you to participate, to take a deep breath while standing on the large stones that cover the waterhole below, to adopt a seedling and to plant it in the ground. (We will give away the seedlings at the end of the event).
Water and lettuce / Rafram Chaddad:
A three-wheel wagon is an iconic vehicle used in Jerusalem's Old City to move merchandise around its narrow alleyways and markets. In the spirit of giving, that derives from a Syrian tradition during of the month of Ramadan—at the end of each fast day water and a piece of lettuce is passed round to the thirsty fasters—Rafram's wagon will offer, every evening, a moment of pure simplicity in the midst of the ongoing chaos.
A meeting with the Black Panthers—two leaders of the Black Panthers, Koko Deri, a resident of Musrara and the Shed Manager, Reuven Abergel, who lived on the site in a shack that was used as the headquarters for the Black Panther movement.
A party (hafla)with Shlomit Buchnik—a fun party with its own unique tempo for all ethnic groups and a range of different languages and dialects including: Moroccan Arabic, Arabic, Algerian Arabic, Kurdish, and Iraqi Arabic.
Musicians: Yosef Lavi, Amir Jan, Yosef Yahia
Basta basita-- بسطة بسيطة Anwar Ben Badis—a discussion about the history of the word "Basta" (shed), the language of the basta and the current role of the basta. Anwar Ben Badis is a linguist and Arabic teacher.
The Safi Suede Band—Classic Arabic music
Stories and watermelons: inter-generational, sector and gender. A whole range of memories will be re-lived through the linguistic filter of tribe and society. Storytelling is an informal form of communication used by the community to help shape its identity. The evening will be devoted to language and words and will be spiced up with music and poetry..
Moderator: Guy Alhanan
Participants: Moran Aviv, Beni Alder, Hefziba, Bracha Sari, Fida Zeidan, Koko Deri, Nidal Abo Salom, marwan makhoul.
Musicians: Amit Sharon and Nimrod Atzmon from the Center for Middle Eastern Classical Music, Musrara.
Coffee with a panther: A meeting with Koko Deri, the shed manager and one of the leaders of the Black Panther movement.
Get into the watermelon: Performance by Chaya Rokin and Reut Sha'ar.
From Casablanca to Beirut—A party with DJ Lior Cohen, the best of Mizrahi , Lebanese, Egyptian, Turkish, Greek, African music and more.
Nino Biton and the Maghreb Orchestra—Nino Biton is undoubtedly one of the greatest Oud players of our time. A musician who lives and breathes the music he plays. He is responsible for the renaissance of Algerian music in Israel, oversaw a whole generation of musicians and founded the Israeli Andalusia Orchestra. In his youth he played at the watermelon sheds and in hamarot (ethnic music clubs), tonight he will be returning for a very special concert.
Every evening, before the sheds open, eastward and westward, in the footsteps of art and history, and during the month of Ramadan - turning the eastern part of the city into a festive celebration of lights and smells.
Advance registration for all the tours is required. Please visit jerusalemseason.com.
31.7/5:00pm—A tour of Muslala and of the watermelon shed project/Matan Israeli—Group Coordinator, artist and resident of the neighborhood, a behind-the-scenes tour of the project.
1.8 / 7:00pm The shed during Iftar بسطة رمضانية Anwar Ben Badis—tours the eastern part of the city, the "canons" that are fired during Iftar and a taste of Ramadan in the Old City.
2.7 / 6:00pm –Tour /Irit Manor—A tour that follows the place of women in "No Man's Land" in search of an answer to the question: what role do women play in areas subject to an ongoing conflict and war zones?
4.8 / 10:30am—Shabbat tour: "Art and Humus" with the Muslala group / Hamutal Wachtel—every Shabbat, the tastiest artistic tour sets out in search of the artists and artistic actions in the streets of the Musrara neighborhood and ends up at Hummus Acramawi—for the best humus in East Jerusalem. Set-off point: Safra Square
4.8 / Ramadan tour / Mohammed Nabulsi—Mohammed invites you to explore the city in which he was born and insists on living in. The tour is in English.
Steering Committee: David Behar-Perahia, Hamutal wachtel, Matan Israeli, Tami Manor-Friedman,Koko Deri.
Basta team : Koko deri, Moty Mishali, Amitai Ben-abba
Media team : Yair moss, Shmulik Twig, Chamutal Wachtel
Technical construction: Natan Landau and HaSadna, Muslala
Production: Eyal Levit (HaKaze)
Administrative management: Lidia Maletin
Project Coordinator: Matan Israeli
We would like to express our gratitude to:
The Schusterman Foundation-Israel
The Jerusalem Season of Culture
The Leichtag Foundation
The Jerusalem Municipality
The Pratt Foundation
The Jerusalem Foundation
The Musrara Neighborhood Committee