IMG_5794Women and their Olive Trees in Rome

“Arte per la Pace”

As part of the “Immagine & Parole” festival organized  in Rome by ADEI WIZO, our Olive Tree exhibition tagged “Arte per la Pace” (art for peace) was on show in the heart of the old city. Sala Margana, a former mansion of the 17th century decorated with antiques, offered a homely place to “our” paintings. What a pride to see on the Piazza Margana the big banner with Hanna Rozenstein’s Tree of Peace announcing the exhibition!

Outside, people were standing on line to come and attend the opening. The place was crowded mostly with Roman visitors- which is precisely the aim of our Hasbara work. The main Italian TV channel filmed the paintings and interviewed Ester, Daniel Benn (Wizo Afula’s new director), Dalia, Fatma and Shuzanna.

IMG_5735Ester Israel (President  ADEI-WIZO Italy) talked about the Olive Tree project and ADEI WIZO, Ruth Dureghello  President of Rome’s Jewish Community talked  about the so necessary friendship between peoples in those hard times. Daniel Benn said that “it is very important to demonstrate that our cultures and religions don’t contradict each other, and should not compete with each other…our project becomes an island of sanity, which simply proves things which we all tend sometimes to forget.” I explained about the impact of the project in and around the group, and about the leading action of ECWF to make their (and our) message heard.

Later in the evening we were invited to attend the Bereshit Lashalom show, an Israeli multicultural theater troup that expresses itself through body language and is committed to the same goal than our Olive Tree: education for peace. A very moving experience, leaded by a warm and vibrant woman: Edna Angelica Calò Livné.

The huge success of the “Immagine & Parole” festival is proportional to Ester’s tireless and professional work. For the record, she is the one who managed to have our Olive Tree exhibition on show in the Israeli Pavilion, EXPO2015, a couple of days ahead in Milan. Step by step, the wide exposure we, European Wizo Federations, give to the Olive Tree project,  enables more and more people to learn about Israel reality.

Thank you Ester for your commitment to Wizo and to Israel!

The following day the artists were invited to a welcome lunch at ADEI WIZO headquarters in Rome wellcomed by the executive of the Roma’s ADEI-WIZO section, followed by a unique guided tour through the streets of the former ghetto with Sara Procaccia, the curator of the Italian exhibitions. They held a drawing workshop inside the exhibition but not many visitors attended. According to the experience in Zurich and Rome, I think that workshops should be organized in advance probably with schools, or groups, or on registration to ensure that the experience is shared by a significant audience (details could be mentioned on the invitation to the opening).

IMG_5783The next event was the Award Ceremony of the 15th Literary Price ADEI WIZO, which happened not less than in the Musei Capitolini! The winner was Katja Petrowskaja for Maybe Esther, a reflection on the traumatized XXth century through her family history – a first publication that already won several prizes and was translated into 24 languages.

Manuele Amar