A hopeful desert harvest, a solo street shoe cobbler, or a celebratory dance circle are captured in black and white, yet the old time images scream with soul. The photographs are a few of the many which were captured after 1948, when Israel was setting its foundations. The slew of photos from the 1950s and 1960s is now being freshly featured in an art exhibit titled “Once Upon a Time in Be’er Sheva”.
Be’er Sheva is the first city to be spotlighted in a series of art exhibitions aiming to “remind its residents of people and places, institutions, and events that have been forgotten over time,” says the project’s initiator the Central Zionist Union. They want to “introduce a wider audience to the wealth of information it possesses.” The display celebrates 100 years of the World Zionist Organization, as well as 50 years of Steven Spielberg’s Jewish Film Archive, who both worked in conjunction with the Central Zionist Union.
The new art exhibit features pictures, posters, documents and films from when Be’er Sheva was founded in 1950, commemorating when the Negev desert was first settled. The exhibit is open in the Negev Museum of Art, which also used to be the first town hall. Mostly photos will be the feature of the exhibit, which will run until August 31 and was curated by Dr. Dalia Manor. There will also be relevant events though the month, including a tour of the first city, talks about Be’er Sheva, and more.
Today, there is much focus on Israel’s center, though a bevy of programs make efforts to inspire Israel’s younger generation to build their lives in Southern Israel. “Once Upon a Time in Beer Sheva” is a solid reminder of Israel’s dedication to making the desert bloom, and all that is possible with a big dream, a little hope, and a blossoming community.