After the school, we transitioned to the David Yellin College of Education, to participate in the opening event of the exhibition of inclusive art. We were lucky to get a chance to speak with the curators, who shared with the team the nooks and crannies of the exhibition preparatory process. The exhibition was designed to be a show of inclusive, collaborative art pieces: artists with and without disabilities had been invited to work together, equally contributing to the piece’s value. “We have received many applications whereby creators did not know how to collaborate with each other: many artists with disabilities presented self-centered projects; artists without disabilities didn’t know how to engage with people with disabilities as equal participants. After all, we were looking for works the quality of which depended entirely on the encounter. It took us and them quite some time to figure out how to really work together.” Among the art pieces presented at the exhibition, there were sculptures, dances, photographs, video-clips that came from all over the world. A series of art images from a performance of Verba, an inclusive theater from Yekaterinburg, was part of the exhibition.
For the day of Shabbat, we moved to Sderot, a town on the South, next to the Gaza sector. There, we watched documentaries about Mombasa’s special school and Kevin’s award-winning film on healing magic. Seeing faces of the schoolchildren and Kevin’s clients, learning about the skills they acquire through attending the school and practicing the magic tricks helped us better understand the power of inclusion, as it is done in Kenya and the US. Then, we met Gvanim, an association that works with people with disabilities to engage them in different sectors of urban social life. For instance, Gvanim lobbies the recruitment of people with mental disabilities into the army. Among their achievements is the recent recruitment of people with autism on the segment of image scrutiny: they analyze satellite imagery to detect abnormalities and suspicious activities. Gvanim also offers opportunities for people with disabilities to start an independent life, taking care of themselves, caring for their house and garden, participating in the community’s life, helping out in the city on social projects. All members of Gvanim do civil service and creative performances.
Friday night was the Shabbat night. The urban kibutz in Sderot kindly invited our team to join their celebration dinner. The community performed the ceremony and shared their food and ideas with us. People from the kibutz care for their own environment, they are taught to create their environment for and by themselves, to creatively care for it and to take responsibility for its changes. There are several common spaces in the kibutz, all of which are beautifully made and maintained by the community. From them, we learned how both people with and without disabilities invest themselves and their resources in making the world around you a home: a home where one enjoys to be and where one eagers to return.