For this year’s Sukkot** celebrations, the MGSDII invited the Jerusalem-based artist collective Sala-Manca Group to curate an exhibition, film screening, and artist talk on two of their recent projects. Absentee Landscapes and Eternal Sukkah represented two distinct yet equally inspiring projects that reimagined a quintessential symbol of Jewish culture – the sukkah.
This informational exhibition told story of how the artists bought a makeshift structure from the exiled Jahalin Bedouin community, re-purposed it as a Sukkah in the center of Jerusalem, sold it to the Israel Museum, and gave the profits to the Bedouin family. The exhibition also shared the story of their efforts to build an unauthorized replica of what is widely considered to be the most beautiful Sukkah in the world, the Deller Sukkah, in the basement of the old leper colony in Jerusalem and how their research led them to become experts on a tiny village in Bavaria.
Following the screening, visiting MGSDII California Western School of Law Professor, Morad Elsana, was part of panel discussion diving deeper into themes featured in the film.
**Sukkot is a week long Jewish celebration commemorating forty years of travel through the wilderness after the exodus from Egypt. During the celebration, temporary dwellings called sukkah are built with simple materials and commonly used for eating, entertaining, and even sleeping.