Open! Academy

Behind Sham

Thalia Hoffman

August 7, 2017essay,

For PhDArts at Leiden University / Royal Academy of Art (KABK), The Hague, which offers a doctorate in art and design, Thalia Hoffman details the production of her film Sham, part of a larger series that considers Israeli-Palestine relations in the wider Middle East. Here, she uses several voices to unfold the personal and sociopolitical environment around the film’s production, involving script excerpts, theoretical reflections on art’s role within activism and diaristic reports of her on-set reflections. In relation to her project she examines Walter Benjamin’s thoughts on the distortion of history, and the importance of plurality in both politics and art evidenced in the work of Hannah Arendt and Claire Bishop among others. Hoffman thereby creates a backdrop against which to process the debilitating violence that plagues Israel-Palestine relations. ‘Sham’ means ‘there’ in Hebrew, and in Arabic refers to Sham, Greater Syria, which included Israel, Palestine, Lebanon, Jordan and Syria of today.

1. Pre-Production

Sham (There), video still. Photo: Ran Moncaz

EXT Judaea Plains – Day

At an intersection of footpaths in the Judaea Hills, an open-back truck is at a standstill in the road. It is almost empty. One person sits in the back watching people as they decide which road to take.

This is a perfect location to film the truck. Just standing here and looking around, I feel the four-thousand years people have occupied this land.1 I can almost smell the blood repeatedly shed here. I just hope it won’t rain.

The film will be the second in a series created as part of the Guava platform for art actions that advocate free movement and the removal of borders in the Middle East. It practises political imagination in the Middle East and with its residents, through film, video, performance and participatory art.

Sham (There). Photo: Dejana Pakledinac

EXT Judaea Hills – Day

Samira (Arabic): What are you looking for?

Goni (Hebrew): Signal, I’m looking for a cellular signal.

Samira smiles, and gestures with her hands that there isn’t one.

A pile. A huge pile of things and people on the side of a road. This is the first image I have when I think about the film. After a few moments I notice that something is moving inside this pile, which has looked dead at first. It has life within it, moving slowly, finding its way around the pile. As usual, I tell Yuval about the idea. Almost every time I have an idea, I talk to Yuval first. At least, as long as he was living here. It could seem like technology dismisses distance, but there is a quality of dialogue and friendship that is possible only when you’re on a shared piece of land. Not surprisingly Yuval brings up Benjamin in our discussion.

The Angel of History must look just so. His face is turned towards the past. Where we see the appearance of a chain of events, he sees one single catastrophe, which unceasingly piles rubble on top of rubble and hurls it before his feet... The storm drives him irresistibly into the future, to which his back is turned, while the rubble-heap before him grows sky-high. That which we call progress, is this storm.2

Benjamin’s angel of history is caught between hope and catastrophe, between future and past, his body and gestures turn towards the future but his face looks to the past. There, he sees a constant growing pile, growing tremendously up to the sky. His gaze into the past sees a growing pile, not a chain of events, as we might think of the past, but more and more wreckage and ruins growing into an endless pile.

July 2014. Three teenage Jews kill and burn a sixteen-year-old Palestinian in Jerusalem. A month earlier three teenage settler Jews are kidnapped and killed in the occupied West Bank.

I lose hope. There is so much violence and fear around me. I grew up in the ongoing cycle of clashes, which had been going on for years before I was born. But I was never afraid before or uncomfortable to speak against the notion of war. After twenty years of being an activist the loss of hope feels like someone has pulled the carpet from beneath my feet. One has to have a certain amount of optimism to continue a struggle.

July 2014. Israel launches Military Operation ‘Tzuk Eitan’ (Strong Cliff) in the Gaza Strip.3

Benjamin’s angel of history is blown irresistibly by the wind of the storm. It is left impotent, without the power to assist or be with the actual ruins of the past, stuck with the gaze of the pile. ‘He would like to stay, resurrect the dead, heal, redeem, but he cannot. The storm of paradise is pushing him in the opposite direction, back into the future.’4 Progress, writes Benjamin, is the storm that drives the angel away from the pile of catastrophe and into the future of hope, watching it growing endlessly.

November 2014. The Israeli police arrest an artist for corrupting the Israeli flag, during one of her performances.5

Benjamin’s description of the angel of history is inspired by the watercolour mono-print Angelus Novus by Paul Klee.6 Over the years it has become a left-wing icon, symbolizing the options of an alternative historical idea. ‘As an icon of the left, Angelus Novus has seemed to hold out an elusive formula for making sense of the senseless, for reversing the irreversible, while being subject to a kind of political brooding all the more protracted the less promising the prospects for political practice appear to be.’7 Benjamin himself owned the mono-print since 1921 and has mentioned it in three other texts.

Over and over again the image of a truck standing still, stuck, with only the constant expectation to move, to go somewhere, keeps coming up in my thoughts. I imagine a pile of people and cargo ‘growing’ on the open-back truck and they, like the truck, will sit there, stuck and almost still.

In Benjamin’s thesis, the Angel of History is a detailed description of the angel in the artwork, combined with a description of an imaginary reality Benjamin ‘sees’ in it. In Klee’s mono-print there is no catastrophe, piling wreckage upon wreckage as described by Benjamin, no claws and wings sharp as knives. In Agesilaus Santander,8 an earlier text, the angel’s movement is described quite differently. While in the Angel of History the angel wishes to stay but is forced to move on, in Agesilaus Santander he is expected to move forward but resists movement. The changing image that Benjamin ‘sees’ in the Angelus Novus print reveals two qualities of the image: to represent thoughts and feelings; and its openness by which it allows one to ‘see’ opposite things in a single image. The former reveals the option of representing within an image and the latter insists that representation is not finite, but flowing and open to change.

August 2014. The ‘Tzuk Eitan’ war ends.9 2.203 Palestinians and 72 Israelis were killed. 2.457 Israelis and over 11.000 Palestinians were injured.

The war ended, and quickly life goes back to what is considered ‘normal’ around here. The more one faces the image of death, the faster one learns to put it aside – that is among the only possible ways to continue living here in the present. But each time it is put aside something changes, without noticing sight becomes more narrow, as the images of death pile up in the margins of the field of vision.

Sham (There). Photo: Dejana Pakledinac

EXT Judea Plains – Afternoon

Waseem (Arabic) off screen: I know you from somewhere.

Amitay (Hebrew): I don’t speak Arabic.

The sound of another man’s footsteps as he enters the truck. The sun is setting.

The art actions of the Guava platform deal with interactions between people. They are not merely about creating objects in the world. The platform follows the distinction philosopher Hannah Arendt established between labour, work and action. Action, she claims,10 is the only activity that exists directly between people without the mediation of things or materials. Furthermore, action ‘corresponds to the human condition of plurality, to the fact that men, not Man, live on the earth and inhabit the world’.11 The condition of plurality and its focus upon the interaction of people is what makes the action, as Arendt puts it, political. The art actions of Guava refer to a parallel and imaginary political imagination in which we, the people who are residents of this land perform the possibility of being stuck here without standing in front or behind our national identities.

I usually think of ‘Guava’ as an unbalanced mixture of past and future, and as such I imagine the truck waiting between the past that made people set out on the refugee roads and the unknown future that exists at the end of these roads. But Lin emphasized the ‘Guava’ actions not as something that moves in time, but parallel to the present.

The political imagination that the Guava platform practises, dismisses borders in the Middle East and evokes the idea of residents inhabiting this land without national borders. In the film Sham (2016) this practice is performed in an open-back truck, which, during the film, loads up more and more people and cargo. The image of a truck we typically associate with transporting refugees is part of the history of both sides of this local conflict inferring the destruction of hundreds of villages and thousands of lives of Palestinian refugees in the Nakba (1948 war), and the Jewish history of the Holocaust. As part of the Guava platform the film not only refers to past local conflict and an imaginary possible near future, but also to the present. Inevitable, considering the current movement of refugees, especially between the Middle East and Europe from the war in Syria, the image of the pile of people and stuff on the truck infers an image not just of the past and future, but of the present as well.

In the past two decades an increasing number of artists have turned away from creating artworks that represent a variety of thoughts and feelings, similar to the way the ‘Angelus Novus’ acts in Benjamin’s writings. Instead, these artists are motivated to make artworks that will ‘do’ something in the world – that will take part in finding a solution to world crises. Over the years, this notion of art has been referred to in many different ways: participatory art, dialogical art, new genre art, relational art, all of which try to express its motivation, process and outcome. As art theorist Suzanne Lacy suggests in one of the first works of research done in the field ‘the underlying aversion to art that claims to “do” something, that does not subordinate function to craft, presents a resonant dilemma for the new genre public artist’.12 Lacy claims that the ‘new genre art’ practice is built on the concept of audience, relationship, communication and political intention, and not upon materials or spaces. She also claims that artists are looking for ways to raise awareness of the social-political surroundings they are working in. In her research, Lacy reconstructs a history of the art field based on these concepts, rather than from the more common perspective of materials, spaces and artistic media. …

The term ‘platform’ used in the ‘Guava’ platform refers to two of its meanings:

  1. Its conceptual meaning: ‘a declaration of the principles on which a group of persons stands; especially: a declaration of principles and policies adopted by a political party or a candidate.13
  2. Its physical meaning: ‘1. a usually raised horizontal flat surface, especially: a raised flooring; 2. a device or structure incorporating or providing a platform, a place or opportunity for public discussion.’14

Guava’s approach to the etymology of the platform promotes the creation of different art media, processes and collaborations to take part in the practice of political imagination. The art actions of the Guava platform may exist as films, performances, collaborative community actions, conferences or any other medium or combination of genres relevant to the context.

The art world, claims Lacy, has been ambivalent towards the new notion of practising art. Detractors in the art world referred to the new notion as not being art, and questioned artists’ motivation to transform and affect their surroundings. The gap between different approaches leads to an ongoing search to capture the relationship between the ethical motivation of the artist and the aesthetic value that the artwork incorporates. Lacy suggests that the ‘new genre art’ practice is not only about the subject matter or the site of the art, but: ‘…about the aesthetic expression of activated value systems.15

May 2015. Miri Regev the new minister of culture in Israel tries to demand Norman Issa, a Palestinian (citizen of Israel) actor to perform in the settlement although he refuses and to halt the budget of Al Midan theatre in Haifa.16

Almost a year has passed since the last war, and still I’m not calm, outside me everyone and everything becomes more and more right-winged, and inside me the image of the truck slowly filling up with more and more people and cargo. I decide to send out an open call and invite whoever wants to join in ‘the political imagination act’ on an empty refugee truck during 24 hours.

‘This is an open call for people to take part in a performance for a short film whether you have performative experience or not…’17

2. Production

Sham is part of a film series dealing with and presenting situations in life by residents of an imagined borderless Middle East.18 The fictive dismissal of borders that the films present, stands in opposition to the concrete walls put in place by national and political authorities and the restriction of movement they dictate. In the first two films of the series, residents begin to find their way towards places they were not able to reach before. The setting of these films in a place without official national status and an absence of nationality allows stories of loss to be told, alongside tales of new opportunities and questions about a future for the Middle East. In other words, the series is a poetic lamentation on the great Zionist dream in the Middle East, while simultaneously evoking a life for residents in a land without national borders.

The motivation to have an impact and to blur ‘life’ and ‘art’ has grown in artists alongside social movements that pushed towards taking responsibility over continuing social and political crises around the world since the 1990s, such as the fall of communism, AIDS, global warming and globalization. The field of art was shaken by socially engaged art that sought to impact the world, claims curator Nato Thompson: ‘these cultural practices indicate a new social order – ways of life that emphasize participation, challenge power and span disciplines.’19 To explain how this engaged notion of art is part of art history and not mere activism, Thompson looks to the desire of artists to blur life and art as growing from a combination of the various avant-garde movements in the twentieth century, like Fluxus or Antonin Artaud’s theatre of cruelty. It is an anti-representational desire, originating in the alienating effects of spectacle, according to Thompson. Socially engaged artists have found out that: ‘the arts have become an instructive space to gain valuable sets of skills in the techniques of performativity, representation, aesthetics, and the creation of an affect.’20 Thompson describes the realm of the political as perhaps the most appropriate place for the arts, as one that is necessary for its manifestation.

I met responders to the open call for Sham individually. Through dialogue we decided together what they would bring to the truck – a gesture, an object or a state of mind – that would direct their time there. Besides this, they received information on the meeting point and time. There were no rehearsals, and they did not meet each other before the filming of the performance / film.

June 2015. Minister of Culture Miri Regev decides to withdraw the financing of choreographer Arkadi Zaides latest artwork because he works with video footage of the Betselem archive.2122 This is one of Regev’s first acts to demonstrate her intention to apply a new set of rules for artists and artworks: ‘One shall not: Deny the existence of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state; Incite racism, violence and terror; Support terror against Israel; Note the Israel Independence Day as a day of mourning; Corrupt the Israeli symbols; Call to boycott Israel.’23

Sham (There), video still. Photo: Ran Moncaz

EXT Judea Plains – Early Evening

Towards sunset a large group of people join the truck, and everyone needs to move around to find a place for themselves and their things. Ayelet continues to separate pomegranate seeds into a large tray. The sun is setting.

Hadil (Hebrew): How much did she give you?

I’m confused and afraid as the production of the film moves on. Confused about how to act as an artist while the political surrounding turns so severe and afraid to make mistakes that won’t allow me to continue working here.

The dichotomy between the detractors and supporters of sociopolitical engaged art has deepened since the 1990s. Art critics, artists and scholars have found different ways to describe the flaws of the practice, and to suggest alternative theories of judgement and interpretation. British artist and scholar Alana Jelinek claims that politics and activism are not to be mixed with art. In her recent research she claims that non-art such as activism and other fields the art practices have collaborated with are merely a consequence of neoliberal pressures in economy and politics, alongside internalization of neoliberal values by the art world. Neoliberal values, such as success rates and measurement of success are a result of the confusion between art practice and non-art sociopolitical practice, Jelinek claims. The values of politics have become more important than the values of art. In order to counter this development, artists should reclaim their responsibility for art, and rely upon the meaning of non-art actions. ‘The art world has lost a way of articulating the value of what we do and art is now understood directly in market terms, or indirectly in other neoliberal terms, as a measurable instrument for the amelioration of social ills as defined or at lest sanctioned by government.’24 To succeed in articulating the value of art, art should be understood as a knowledge forming discipline, Jelinek suggests, and as that it should reflect on the discipline of the art practices. Understanding art in that sense will define what art is, and what it is not.

Sham (There), video still. Photo: Ran Moncaz

EXT Judea Plains – Night

Yoram walks around the truck, examines it, and notices someone sitting on the higher bars of it.

Yoram (Arabic): Be careful sitting so high up, the road is dangerous.

He continues walking around the truck, catches a leg of a woman sitting upon it, and moves on. Samira is covering a kid who is lying down outside the truck with a blanket.

Yoram (Hebrew) Off Screen: So much trash people take with them.

September 2015. The 3rd Intifada25 erupts. Palestinians are killed during demonstrations and Jews are being stabbed in the streets. Palestinians use anything they can find to hurt (kitchen knives, scissors, et cetera) and Israelis (citizens and military) shoot to kill whoever seems alarming.26

Each time this happens it feels worse – fear and violence pick up their volume dominating the streets, again. The possibility of changing the direction of this circulation becomes even more out of reach. Discouragement shuffles all my cards of ideas, thoughts and feelings, and I’m clueless which ‘hand’ will be a good player for this game. I don’t understand why I should continue to make this film.

Art historian Claire Bishop argues that relational art practices prefer collaborative activity over aesthetics. She established a critical reading of this practice and of the necessity of a connection of art and politics or of aesthetics and ethics. Bishop claims that one of the biggest problems about the ‘Social Turn’ in art since the 1990s is the ‘disavowed relationship to the aesthetic’27 it created. Relational practices, she says, attempt to merge ‘real life’ and art, equality and quality, participation and spectatorship. They do so by focusing on the process and not the object, by preferring collective or co-authoring art practices that are judged by humanist values, and by turning spectators into participators. But, models of democracy in society do not have an inherent relationship to models of democracy in art, Bishop argues, the equation between the two is misleading and ‘does not recognize art’s ability to generate other, more paradoxical criteria.’28 The ongoing attempt of artists to combine their work with the sociopolitical sphere surrounding them, although motivated by an urgent call from their experience, fails to address both the ethical issues and aesthetic criteria. Instead of merging ethics and aesthetics, art should underline the necessity to sustain a tension between them. They should be thought of simultaneously and not as one, sustaining a continuing tension.

Two weeks after the Palestinian uprising in East Jerusalem began, the group of people that joined the Guava action participated in a twenty-four-hour performance. The entire film crew, performers and staff volunteered to take part in the art action, and were responsible for activating and operating the camp. During the first hour, people were introduced to their collaborators and the landscape. After this the crew, performers and staff gathered for an opening talk. As a general rule, people were asked to act as themselves, to not try to do things during the performance to illustrate the situation they are creating, and to ‘use’ what we discussed individually as a last resort.

I can’t sleep. This is the only time we have to rest for a couple of hours during the filming, and I walk around the landscape between the people. It is dark, so I can’t see much, but I hear the openness and emptiness of the scenery and some whispering in Arabic and Hebrew. I decide to lie down next to the truck, as if something would happen, I would be able to protect it.

The twenty-four hours were divided into six separate performance sessions (day-afternoon-evening-night-morning-day). For each performance session numerous participants joined the truck either alone or in small groups with her / his / their pile of things – a bag, some cloth, sometimes water. One after the other, females and males of different ages left the refugee roads they were walking on and piled upon the truck. Between each session more and more stuff – jerrycans, bundles of cloth, suitcases and boxes piled up in the truck. With each new person arriving, former ‘residents’ had to find their way to deal and contain the ‘newcomers’. The camera shot each session from another angle of the truck, keeping the truck in front-centre of the camera. The movement of the camera was planned in such a way that the final scene would be shot from the same angle as the first.

EXT Judea Plains – Midday

The truck is full of people. More than fifty are squeezed next to each other. The camera returns to its first position parallel to the truck. Multiple conversations are held between the people on the truck, from time to time one can hear parts of them. Another woman finds a place to sit on the truck and opens a red umbrella to make some shade. Nazir is teaching Shir Arabic.

Shir (Arabic): El shams btitlaa’ min el shark o btenzel fi el gharb29

Art returns to the social throughout history, claims Bishop, whenever there is a collapse in collective thinking in society, political upheaval and movements for social change: ‘a utopian rethinking of art’s relationship to the social and of its political potential – manifested in a reconsideration of the ways in which art is produced, consumed and debated.’30 The current return of art to the social, which began in the 1990s is ‘focusing on the “project” as a privileged vehicle of utopian experimentation at a time when a leftist project seemed to have vanished from the political imaginary.’31 Relational art practices stand without relation to an existing political project, and as for that the art projects don’t have any institution to continue their activist art. This should not be addressed by collapsing art and ethics together, suggests Bishop, but rather ‘the task today is to produce a viable international alignment of leftist political movements and a reassertion of art’s inventive forms of negation as valuable in their own right.’32 Art should be recognized as an experimental activity, which overlaps the world and might lend support to existing political institutions by exchanging ideas.

‘24 hours of utopia’, one of the participants says to me at the end of the filming. ‘A utopian dystopia’ I answer – but was it?

3. Post-Production

October 2015. Dareen Tatour a Palestinian poet living in Israel next to Nazareth is arrested for incitement to violence and supporting a terrorist organization, as expressed in one of her poems. She is kept in custody for over seven months and her trial begins in May 2016.

The failure of socially engaged art, claims Bishop, is ‘an ethical reasoning that fails to accommodate the aesthetic or to understand it as an autonomous realm of experience.’33 Following philosopher Jacques Rancière and psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan, she argues that to hold the tension between ethics and aesthetics art must leave space for perversity, paradox and negation. Her answer to the failure is that socially engaged art should create a space that occupies a territory between mere life and mere art – a space that will multiply the ways to be present in participatory art and diversify its negotiation of the social.

The film shoot ended and the film went into its next stage of editing and sound. Sham was edited into a twenty-minute film that ties together the twenty-four-hour performance. The editing connected the six separate sessions into one scenario during which the truck begins almost empty and ends with a long scene in which all fifty people who took part in the performance fill the frame on the truck. Today the film stands alone as a video work, but at the same time it is part of a film series, which is created as part of the Guava platform. The layered form of action within art that the film demonstrates is part of the larger quest of the platform that asks how art can act both in the aesthetic regime and the politic regime.

I keep thinking about the shooting as I edit the film. The twenty-four hours there were the only moments in which I felt the non-symmetric shared fate of both the Palestinians and Jews who are living here in this blood-soaked land.

The owner of an art collection offered to purchase the film and I decided to collectively ask the participants, crew and staff to make use of it. I wrote an e-mail to them all asking what they prefer to do with the money:

  1. Donate it to an NGO working in the area.
  2. Have a party.
  3. Create a new action together for the ‘Guava’ platform.

1. References to cities built in the area are found already in the so-called execration texts (ancient Egyptian hieratic texts, listing enemies of the Pharaoh, most often enemies of the Egyptian state or troublesome foreign neighbors). For detailed research on archaeological findings in the area please see: Yehuda Dagan, ‘The Renewed Archaeological Excavations at Lachish (1973–1994),’ in Monograph Series No. 22, ed. David Ussishkin (The Sonia and Marco Nadler Institute of Archaeology: Tel Aviv, 2004).

2. Walter Benjamin, On the Concept of History, in Gesammelte Schriften, volume 1, no. 2 (Suhrkamp Verlag: Frankfurt am Main, 1974),

3. I use the term military operation and not war because of the asymmetric nature of the violent conflict between the state of Israel, and the ruling party of the Gaza Strip, Hamas.

4. Susan Handelman, Fragments of Redemption: Jewish Thought and Literary Theory in Benjamin, Scholem, and Levinas (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1991), 346.

5. At the time of writing this essay, Natali Cohen Vaxberg has been questioned by the police five times and is awaiting trial,

6. Paul Klee (1879–1940), Angelus Novus (New Angel), 1920, mono-print, oil transfer and watercolour on paper, 31,8 x 24,2 cm, courtesy Israel Museum, Jerusalem.

7. O. K. Werckmeister, Walter Benjamin’s Angel of History, or the Transfiguration of the Revolutionary into the Historian, Critical Inquiry 22, no. 2 (Winter 1996): 239–267.

8. Walter Benjamin, Walter Benjamin: Selected Writings, Volume 2: Part 2, trans. Rodney Livingstone, ed. Michael W. Jennings, Howard Eiland and Gary Smith (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1999), 712.

9. I use the term war because of the number of people killed and injured, and the damage that has occurred. I also use the term in opposition to the state of Israel, which continues to refer to it as an operation due to international and economic implications Israel would need to face if declaring war.

10. See Hannah Arendt, The Human Condition (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1958).

11. Ibid., 7–8.

12. Suzanne Lacy, ed., Mapping the Terrain: New Public Art (Seatle: Bay Press, 1994), 20–21,

13. See Merriam-Webster dictionary,

14. Ibid.

15. Lacy, Mapping the Terrain, 30.

16. See

17. Figure X. The open-call in Hebrew and Arabic as was published in different.

18. Residents are people living in the area on a long-term basis, both Israelis and Palestinians.

19. Nato Thompson, Living as Form: Socially Engaged Art from 1991–2011 (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2012), 22.

20. Ibid., 21.

21. See

22. The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories was established in February 1989 by a group of prominent academics, attorneys, journalists and Knesset members.

23. Author’s translation, see

24. Alana Jelinik, This is Not Art: Activism and Other ‘Not-Art’ (London: I. B. Tauris, 2013), 119.

25. A protracted grassroots campaign of protest and sometimes violent resistance against perceived oppression or military occupation, especially either of two uprisings among Palestinian Arabs in the Gaza Strip and West Bank, the first beginning in 1987 and the second in 2000, in protest against Israeli occupation of these territories.

26. This is still ongoing.

27. Claire Bishop, Artificial Hells: Participatory Art and the Politics of Spectatorship (London: Verso, 2012), 26.

28. Ibid., 279.

29. English translation: the sun rises in the East and sets in the West.

30. Bishop, Artificial Hells, 7.

31. Ibid., 8.

32. Ibid., 284.

33. Ibid., 40.

Thalia Hoffman (1979, DE) is a visual artist working in film, video, performance and public interventions. She holds a BA in Humanities from the University of Bar-Ilan, and is an MFA graduate (with honours) in Fine Arts from the University of Haifa, where she is currently teaching. Hoffman directed the full-length documentary (To each his own, 2005) and several short experimental films and is working as an independent film director and editor. In addition Hoffman works on and develops social / political change programmes using film and video within different communities. She also approaches this work through cooking and feeding, both in professional and artistic contexts. All of her work strives to be involved in its surroundings and engage people in looking at, listening to and feeling their social / political landscape with attention. Hoffman’s films, video works and performances have been shown in group exhibitions and festivals in Israel and around the world. See further: