hans the clown, eldad the artist
January 15, 2015 - single portrait
i met this guy together with friends during the hag hahagim festival in wadi nisnas in haifa. the arab christians of haifa celebrate christmas together with jewish and muslims and everybody who likes markets, candy, soap bubbles, barbeque, music and parades. the clown had a friend named tal (i gonna make another post soon) and he introduced him to us as “hans, the german”. and he wasn’t bad pretending to be a german; he made a serious face and answered “ja” on each question. he even had two medals from the gdr (he actually thought they were russian origin).
when we came to a more humorous talk we learnt that his name actually was eldad. he was on the festival to stage for the kids. he told us that he worked for ‘clowns without borders’ to bring palestian and israelian clowns together in order to perform for children in ghaza to make them forget their world of war and death at least for an hour. but since it is not possible for israelians to enter the palestinian borders the idea was very hard to work out. the sadness and dissapointment darkened his bright friendly face for a moment when he told us about the ‘situation’, which is a common synonym for the ongoing war in israel and all the threads people from both sides suffer everyday without having asked for.
to fight the paralysis and in order to make a difference and move forward at least little steps in a peaceful direction many israelians chose a very strong weapon, which is art of every sort: music, graffiti, photography, film documentary and acting, dance, theatre staging, building, painting, printing, knitting, sewing, gardening to name only a few. i think in no other country than israel i have met so many people who are connected to art in one or the other way. i for example came across a project of muslim and jewish women who sew dolls, each of a kind, to spread the peace. the hag hahagim festival is another great example.
eldad not only performs as a clown for children, but he also is a play writer working in theatres not only in israel. two days later we met him at the promenade in tel aviv and it was just by accident that we recognized him without the clown’s costume and the red nose. he just came from a rehearsel to enjoy the sea in the evening. we wore the red nose he gave us as a gift the rest of our stay in israel.