The Power of Hair

Of Persian fairy tales and female self-determination

Woman standing next to a showcase in which there is a sculpture made of hair

Artist Mandana Moghaddam standing next to her sculpture Chelgis I in the exhibition Cherchez la femme. Wig, Burqa, Wimple; Jewish Museum Berlin, photo: Yves Sucksdorff

In the course of the new exhibition Cherchez la femme – which deals with the covering of women within the idea of the monotheism of the three leading religions – we spoke with Iranian artist Mandana Moghaddam. Her artwork Chelgis (pronounced “Gelgis”) contributes to the concept of the exhibition in an impressive way and further stimulates the viewers’ own contemplation on the subject. Just in time for the exhibition’s opening we conducted a short interview with Mandana Moghaddam:

Dear Ms. Moghaddam, would you tell us a little bit about your artwork and the story of Chelgis?

I began my work by thinking of contemporary womens’ issues, examining them from different angles. When I drew the first sketch I saw the story of Chelgis – which means “40 braids” – right in front of me.  continue reading


In Blessed Memory of Heinz-Joachim Aris

Obituary

It is with great sadness that we announce the death of our longstanding member of the Board of Trustees and friend Heinz-Joachim Aris, who passed away in the night to Friday 24 March 2017 at the age of 82.

Heinz-Joachim Aris served as deputy member to the Board of Trustees of the Jewish Museum Berlin from 2007. He supported the work of the Jewish Museum Berlin with great commitment and profound understanding. We mourn for our companion, as wise as he was prudent, whose heartfelt friendship we shall sorely miss. Our deepest sympathy goes to his wife, his family, and all those who were close to him.

Professor Peter Schäfer
Director, Jewish Museum Berlin Foundation
On behalf of all the staff

Posted in museum, Uncategorized
Tagged by ,


“Searching for the familiar in an alien setting”

Workshops for young refugees

Two boys writing their names on T-shirts

Whether in Hebrew, Arabic, or German, there are lots of ways to write one’s name; photo: private

What’s written in a Jewish marriage contract? As a minority, how do you secure your civil rights? And why is Hanukkah celebrated for eight days? My work as a guide at the Jewish Museum isabout how to coax stories from objects on display — but also about language. The first thing I did when I began working here about four years ago was to look up how to say “ruminants with cloven hooves” in French. You need to have this phrase at the ready if you want to explain Jewish dietary laws to a group of French museum visitors. My French didn’t help much, however, when I led the first workshops in August of 2016 for Welcome Classes.  continue reading