Dagesh is dedicated to bringing new visibility to Jewish artists through exhibitions, readings, art and literature festivals, public discussions and collaborations.
New visibility for jewish artists
Since its founding in 2016, the Dagesh ArtLAB has supported Jewish artists through the Ernst Ludwig Ehrlich Studienwerk scholarship fund. This has given Dagesh access to an established, excellent network of young, dedicated artists.
In June 2020, a cultural education branch was added to Dagesh. Its program, Dagesh on Tour, focuses on the personal mediation of art as a socially effective practice.
Where we are now
Jewish life in Germany today is more diverse than ever. This diversity finds expression in current works by young Jewish artists. Contemporary Jewish art in Germany tends to grapple with themes related to the interaction between Jewish communities, Jewish cultures and mainstream German society.
Considering the (sometimes tense) relationship with German non-Jewish society as well the long history – and current manifestations – of antisemitism and racism here, it is no surprise that Jewish plurality can trigger friction and conflict.
Part of the German “We”
Dagesh grapples with manifold themes: Experiences and stories of migration, questions about belonging and identity (or identities), the positions of minorities and the dynamics of intersectionality, confrontations with family, religion, history, politics, sexuality and gender, exclusion and violence.
Despite the fact that there are well over 200,000 Jews living in Germany today, mainstream society still considers them to be “foreign,” standing on the fringes of German and European society and not part of the German “we.” Art and emancipatory art education offer us the opportunity to reflect together on Jewish life in Germany, to tell the outside world about Jewish life, and to challenge stereotypes and attributions of foreignness.
*A Dagesh is a small dot in the center of some characters in the Hebrew and Yiddish alphabets. In itself it has no meaning, but it can affect the meaning of a word by adding emphasis. Which is exactly what art can do: set accents and shift meanings.