Jewish Moroccan Musician Filmmaker Amit Hai Cohen Curates Main Exhibition At 4th Jerusalem Biennale

Amit Hai Cohen, Jewish Moroccan Filmmaker

From October 12-November 28, 2019 the holy city of Jerusalem will host the 4th Jerusalem Biennale, themed “For Heaven’s Sake.” The biennale is dedicated to exploring the places in which the contemporary art world and the Jewish world of content meet. Many professional artists will be featured in over 30 exhibitions that represent their work.

One of the main highlights of 4th Jerusalem Biennale is “ZIARA,”   curated by Amit Hai Cohen, a Jewish musician and filmmaker of Moroccan and Tunisian descent. His grandparents are from the village of Tizgui, located between Ouarzazate and Tilwat. “Morocco allows me, among other things, to expand my borders and dream….When I see people in Morocco, I see my family in their faces. Same character, same facial features, same eyes, and same souls. The first time I went to Tizgui, I saw the river from which they drank, the synagogue where people prayed. It’s like going back in time with the knowledge and historical perspective of today. It’s a possibility that fascinates me.”

The Exhibition “ZIARA” will present the works of 20 Moroccan artists from all over the world including Mohamed Mourabiti, Fatima Zohra Serri, Mohammed El mourid , Shlomy Elkabetz and and Aniam Dery. The fair is a member of the Biennial Foundation, partnered with 100 Biennales worldwide. The 3rd Jerusalem Biennale took place in 2017 and introduced 230 local and international artists who participated in the “Watershed” Theme. The metaphor looked at the way people merge as a group and how they branch into individual identities.

Cohen is married to Neta Elkayam, a Moroccan Jewish actress and musician. The artistic power couple can be found collaborating together. At the upcoming ‘Nigunim Betzedek’ festival, they will be “diving into the words of the Meknessi poet Rabbi David Hassin,” wrote Elkayam on her Instagram page. Rabbi Hassin is considered one of the greatest Jewish Moroccan poets. His liturgic poetry has spread throughout communities in Morocco.  Also available now is their newest electronic project “ARENAS” inspired by music from the Atlas.