by Yael Adar
The Museum on the Seam is socio-political contemporary art museum. The attempt at dialogue and coexistence are not limited only to Jews and Arabs, as one might expect, but rather to Israeli society with its many and varied differences. There is an attempt here to connect between ‘us’ and ‘them’ regardless of what those might be.
It is the type of place one wants to encourage people to visit while not revealing the sheer power of the visit. And powerful it is.
The Museum on the Seam is a socio-political contemporary art museum, located in Jerusalem. The Museum raises diverse issues for discussion with the goal of having an impact on public dialogue within a complex reality. The changing exhibitions shown at the Museum form a series of connected statements about human rights and reflect the thin line in human relationships between personal and national identity and social, ethnic and religious differences in their local and universal contexts.
The Museum is committed to addressing the social reality within our regional conflict, to advancing dialogue in the face of discord and to encouraging social responsibility that is based on what we all have in common rather than what keeps us apart.
Museum on the Seam is not a place you walk into, view the displays and simply leave. Rather, it is truly an interactive experience. The tour includes a magnificent lookout from the museum’s rooftop, where a Cafe is planned.
Located on the seam between East and West Jerusalem or what used to be the seam between Israel and Jordan the museum is also on the seam of the ultra-orthodox and secular neighborhoods. Not only is the museum now more in step with the realities of the era, it offers a thought provoking experience, replete with high-tech ingenuity.
The building is best known to most as the Tourjeman Post. In a previous incarnation, it served as a museum dedicated to the divided/re-united city, Jerusalem. Like the city that houses it, this is a place where old meets new. The building’s outward exterior, a testament to its history, is certainly not representative of the displays inside. It is a place where twenty-first century exhibits meet a war-torn balcony (see photo).
Originally built in the 1930’s by christian Palestinian architect (Andoni Baramki) for his family, the building was first captured by the Haganah forces in 1948 and used as a forward military position. Later, in 1967 it was once again on the front. Both in the past, as in the present, the building’s importance is based on geography. When the city was divided, the area in which the museum is located was known as the Mandelbaum Gate. The Mandelbaum Gate area was the sole location for Israel-Jordan Armistice Committee meetings, held between officers of the IDF and the Jordanian Legion oficers, under the auspices of the United Nations. In fact, the United Nations building is just across the way from the museum.
Whether listening to the cacophony of vocal views, from all walks of Israeli society; digitally drawing graffiti on a wall where Israeli soldiers drew graffiti while at their post; or walking the Corridor of Peace, with quotes from Nobel Peace Prize laureates, this tour is sure to make you ponder how dialogue, coexistence and understanding can be achieved in today’s Israeli society.
The renovation of the museum was made possible by a contribution from the von Holtzbrinck family through the Jerusalem Foundation.
The Museum is committed to addressing the social reality within our regional conflict, to advancing dialogue in the face of discord and to encouraging social responsibility that is based on what we all
The museum is located at 4 Chel Handasa Street, Jerusalem, 91016
Directions: Buses # 2,5,10, 13, 48a, 49, 173, 174
Visiting Hours: Sunday – Thursday from 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM and Fridays from 9:00 AM – 2:00 PM.
Entry fees apply.