Eran's Blog

Listening to the Enemy


Listening to the Enemy is an alternative audio guide to the Israel Museum, where the instructions are given by people who cannot enter the museum. Not because they aren’t interested in Ancient Eastern archaeology or Islamic art – they just happen to live in Morocco, Pakistan, or Malaysia, and cannot come to Israel.

Interview on I24News

Lior Zalmanson and myself created an audio guide composed entirely of the thoughts and impressions of people forbidden to enter the country. These accounts were collected through Internet sites used for crowdsourcing; for $1.5 the “workers” were asked to describe the objects on display, explain their function, and how they made them feel. We used “microworkers.com” to get people from those countries to cooperate with us, without telling them where we were from, or what the purpose of this task was.

A special route, adhering to the Islamic narrative, was virtually added to the museum, from the beginning of Mankind, through Ancient Egypt and the Near East, and up until Islam.

We gathered hundreds of replies, and chose the most interesting ones. Some are stories of daily life in those countries, other deal with sex, or complain about ISIS.

museum_audience1

The result is an entirely new Museum experience, one which encourages us to consider borders and the relations between the Museum, the country, and the world. Some of the audience raised questions about exploitation and the hierarchy imposed by the Internet, and the different borders between virtual life and real life.

contact_point_audience2 Photo by Lior Zalmanson

Listening to the Enemy by Lior Zalmanson and Eran Hadas was part of “Contact Point”, curated by Renana Raz.

Review on Elephant Magazine

contact_point_audience1 Photo by Lior Zalmanson

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