European Association for Jewish Culture 

 

 

2002 Grant recipients' biographical notes 

UNITED KINGDOM

Sam Boardman-Jacobs 
Sam Boardman-Jacobs is a writer, playwright, director and theatre designer who has worked on productions for theatres in Germany, Holland, Israel, Spain and the UK. Currently he is a series contributor to BBC Radio 4 and BBC Radio 3 Wales, as well as to Granada TV, Yorkshire TV, Channel 4 and BBC 1. A senior lecturer at the University of Glamorgan in Wales, Boardman-Jacobs most recent play, 'Asylum', ran at the Manchester Royal Exchange Theatre in 2001. His new play, Trying to Be will explore post-Holocaust, European Jewish identity via the personal journey of Max, a klezmer band leader, set in contemporary Britain. It will be produced by Sgript Cymru, Contemporary Drama, in Wales.

Bob Frith 
Bob Frith is the director of the Horse & Bamboo Theatre Company in Rossendale, Lancashire, which he founded in 1978, specializing in visual theatre, using masks, puppetry and music. His EAJC project, Company of Angels: The Story of Charlotte Solomon will employ these techniques to create a dramatic portrait of the late German-Jewish artist Charlotte Solomon, who had produced more than 1,000 gouache paintings before she was killed in Birkenau at age 26. Frith is the co-writer, performer, producer and director of 15 productions.

Atar Hadari 
Atar Hadari is a playwright, poet, journalist, translator and author of short stories. A graduate of Brandeis University where he earned a Masters of Fine Arts in 1994, Hadari is the recipient of numerous awards, including the BBC Radio Alfred Bradley Award for comedy and the Young Writer Award from the Royal Shakespeare Company. Currently a playwriting lecturer at the Arden School of Theatre at Manchester University, Hadari is a translator of the modern Hebrew poet Chaim Nachman Bialik; Songs from Bialik: Selected Poems was published by Syracuse University Press in 2000. His new play, The Jewish Piano will use a fictional adaptation of the history of the Steinway family to chart the transformation of Jewish life from pre-emancipation to contemporary times. It will be shown in a workshop production at the Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester.

Miranda Lopatkin 
Miranda Lopatkin is a recent graduate of Central St Martins College of Art and Design, where she earned a masters degree in fine art. She was named Jewish Artist of the Year at an exhibit at the Candid Art Gallery in Islington in November 2001. Her EAJC project, Re-generations, is a photograph, video and sound exhibit exploring the perceptions of the Holocaust in society and its personal meaning for young Jews. The work will be shown at an exhibition organized by Meshulash, a Jewish cultural group in Berlin.

Julia Pascal 
Playwright Julia Pascal, who is a frequent contributor to the Guardian, the Jewish Chronicle (JC), the New Statesman and BBC Radio, counts as her most recent productions The Yiddish Queen Lear (Bridewell Theatre, London 2001) and Woman on the Moon (The Arcola Theatre, London 2001), both of which were published by Oberon Books that same year. The Holocaust Trilogy (Oberon) was published in 2000. Winner of of the BBC's Alfred Bradley Award, Pascal was the theatre events director for the JC Festival of Jewish Arts & Culture 2001. Her new play, East of Jerusalem, to be shown in a workshop production at The Tricycle Theatre, will explore the relationship between Jews, Israelis and Palestinians as played out by the intersecting lives of three families. It will be made possible by a special grant funded by Mrs Barbara Sieratzki and linked to the Tricycle Theatre in London.

David Breuer-Weil 
David Breuer-Weil, whose 70-piece monumental painting series, Project, has met with critical acclaim, is known for his individualistic style. A former director of Modern Art at Sotheby's and a consultant for modern and contemporary art for de Pury & Luxembourg Art in Geneva, Breuer-Weil has exhibited his work in London, Cambridge, New York, Tel Aviv, and Düsseldorf. Breuer-Weil's new work, Project II will utilize Jewish symbolism, motifs and the Jewish experience to explore life at the beginning of the 21st century. More than 30 new canvases, each approximately 2 by 4 metres in scale, will be included in the show, which will be exhibited at a London gallery.

BELGIUM

Yola Polanowska and Paul Schillings 
Playwright, scriptwriter and producer Yola Polanowska is a graduate of Université Libre de Bruxelles in Slavonic philology and history. She began her involvement in the theatre by translating 'The Cobblers', a play by the celebrated modernist writer S.I. Witkiewicz. After working for Médecins sans frontičres in Moscow and Chechnya, she returned to the theatre. She was also involved in the touring production in Moscow, Novgorod and St Petersburg of the play 'Everyman' by the Ballets Contemporains de la Belgique. 

Paul Schillings is a theatre director, producer, scriptwriter and filmmaker. After 10 years with the Opera National, Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie in Brussels, he founded the independent theatre company Théâtre des Rivages. As an actor he appeared in 'Everyman', a production of Les Ballets Contemporains de la Belgique that toured Paris, Strasbourg, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Lisbon, Amsterdam, Moscow and St Petersburg. More recently, he scripted and directed for the Association des Jeunes Cinéastes de Bruxelles (AJC) four short films, 'La Minute de Silence' (1998), 'Green Stress' (1998), 'Love Story' (2000) and 'Extasia' 2001. All were screened at 'court metrages' film festivals in Caen, Paris, Hamburg and Split. As co-producer, Shillings has collaborated with Polanowska on the several productions staged in a variety of theatrical venues in Brussels: 'Casse-Pipes', a musical play based on texts by Artaud, Cendrars, Prevert et Vian; 'Living Room', an adaptation of 'Le Bel Indifférent' by Jean Cocteau and a comedy 'Boulevard Brassens', which was staged 64 times. Polanowska and Shilling's EAJC theatre project, Undula is a form of commedia dell'arte of Jewish life based on a character from 'Le Livre Idolâtre' by Bruno Schulz.

DENMARK

Ari Rosenzweig 
Ari Rosenzweig, born in 1971 in Copenhagen, is a choreographer who has worked with the Batsheva Dance Company and the Kibbutz Dance Company. His recent projects in Denmark include 'Kun Kort Tid,', 'Pink Hole' and 'Alvorlige Mennesker'. Rosenzweig's latest works include 'Eager Beaver B and Eager Beaver C'. He has worked with numerous well-known choreographers and his own work received critical acclaim. Rosenzweig's EAJC project Jingele o Maidele – performed with his wife, Hagit, will go on tour appearing in 5 cities in Denmark. Rosenzweig describes his alegorical choreography as "a dance for two individuals who struggle over space or territory on the dance floor".

Hannah Spliid 
Hannah Spliid is a painter and a stage designer. Born in 1960, Spliid is a graduate of the Danish School of Design where she earned a degree in stage and graphic design. Her latest work, an exhibition of 49 oil paintings at Gallerie Werkstatt was shown in Copenhagen in 2001. Another recent project was the installation of a room, the 'Thinkubator' at the Danish Institute of Technology. She was responsible for the set designs for 'Kinder, Kriege, Lustspiel' by Thomas Brash, 'Jederman' by Hugo von Hofmansthal and 'A Tale of Treachery' by Sid Dalager. Her EAJC project, My Mosaic Mosaics will relate the life of Bezalel, the first artist mentioned in the Hebrew Bible, as a vehicle for exploring the quest for meaning through an exploration of Jewish rituals and tradition.

Udsyn (Outlook) 
Udsyn or the 'Journal on Jewish life, Israel, and the Middle East' is a 40-page quarterly circulated throughout Denmark. Originally published in 1985 as New Outlook after the Jewish Danish peace movement by the same name, Udsyn covers a range of subjects, from Jewish and Israeli life, politics, religion and the quest for cultural pluralism in the Middle East. Specific themes have included a new literal translation of the Hebrew Bible into Danish, a short story by contemporary Danish- Jewish-Romani writer Miriam Bastian-Wechselsmann and a survey of Jewish cultural events in Europe. It features translations from contemporary Jewish writers from Germany, England, Sweden, Holland, Hungary and Sweden. Udsyn's EAJC project will be a special issue devoted to Jewish visual arts focusing on young Scandinavian artists. The issue will also include essays on the history of art, art criticism and exhibition reviews.

HUNGARY

András Almási-Tóth 
András Almási-Tóth is a stage director whose most recent productions have been Trans, Carmen, Orlando, The Death of The Survivor and The Bat (a new version of Strauss' Die Fledermaus). An assistant professor at the University of Theatre and Film in Budapest since 1997, Almási-Tóth also teaches stage acting at the Franz Liszt University in Budapest. For the past two years he has directed Rob and Tot by Vera Flió at the Hungarian Theatre Festival, As I Crossed the Bridge of Dreams by Peter Eötvös at the Budapest Spring Festival and Lead Soldiers, an opera by Lajos Kassŕk and Ágnes Kamondy at the Budapest Puppet Theatre. In his new musical play, The Golem, supported by the EAJC grant, Almási-Tóth will adapt the 1917 classic by the same name, in collaboration with dramatist Enikö Perczel and composer Gergely Vajda. Utilizing puppet theatre and designed for all age groups, the new work will be performed at the experimental atelier of the Budapest Operetta Theatre in the spring 2002.

Emil Für 
Emil Für is a graphic artist and illustrator whose work has widely appeared in literary publications and one-person shows throughout Hungary. Born in 1967, he studied art history at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. His most recent illustrations appear in the Hungarian periodical, Szombat, the Jewish anthology Katalin Pési: There are no Buterflies Here and Géza Röhrig: The Rebbeh's Featherless Parrot. He has exhibited his work at the International Festival of Visual Arts in Acre, Israel; at the Karinthy Salon in Budapest, as well as at the Association of Hungarian Painters, the Szécheny Art Colony Foundation and the Ludwig Museum, all in Budapest. His EAJC project, Flat-Footed Angel with Gefiltefish will be an installation of a series of paintings revealing the whimsy, irony and breadth of the Jewish experience.

László Egyed 
László Egyed is a painter, graphic artist and film director. Born in 1953 in Budapest, he won scholarships from the Soros and the Pollock-Kasner Foundations. His faux- documentary film, Egy titokzatos férfi (The Man with a Secret) won the UNESCO and the jury prize at the 1996 Hungarian Film Festival. In painting, he specialized in collages made of textiles, paper and linen. More recently, he has begun a series of drawings in the 'omission-fragmentary' style using photo-realism. His work has been exhibited in Budapest, Switzerland, Lincoln Center in New York, and Paris. His EAJC project, Song of Songs Today is based on the biblical text and will consist of 25-30 charcoal-on-paper drawings which seek to explore the relationship between the sexes and the alternation of the visible / invisible as a metaphor of contemporary Jewish life.

Zsuzsa Lóránt 
Zsuzsa Lóránt is a sculptor whose work has been displayed in Germany, France, Iraq, Egypt and the Netherlands. Born in Budapest in 1946, Lóránt is the recipient of numerous prizes and has had her work exhibited in Vienna, FIDEM Budapest, Florence, the Basel Kunstmesse, Istambul, Jerusalem,Oslo, Stockholm, Rome, Tel Aviv and Toronto. Permanent collections include the Hungarian National Gallery, the Budapest Historical Museum in Kiscell, and the Gyor János Xanuts Museum, while public displays of her work in Budapest include the Hotel Erzébet, Hotel Hungária and City Hall. Her EAJC project, Assimilants, dissimilants, will consist of wooden and alabaster sculptures intended to portray Jewish intellectuals whose contributions to Hungarian society were shaped by Judaism despite their assimilation.

Múlt és Jövo (Past and Future) 
The quarterly Múlt és Jövo was founded in Budapest in 1911 and operated for 33 years as one of the leading cultural and art journals in Hungary. Closed with the German occupation in 1944, it was restored as a living publication in 1988. Re- launched both as a journal and publishing company in 1994, it provides a focal point for new Jewish literature and research. International in scope with a remit of preserving and enhancing Jewish life throughout Europe, Múlt és Jövo has a cross section of readers and contributors (many in translation) from Hungary, Israel, Western Europe and the United States. The special issue supported by the EAJC will include translations of writings by Susan Sontag, Cynthia Ozick, Yossi Klein Halevi, Ilse Aichenge, Jacob Katz and Alina Margolis.

Szombat (Shabbat) 
Szombat was founded in 1989 by the Federation to Maintain Jewish Culture in Hungary. With a print run of some 1,700 copies, the magazine is sold at newsstands and by subscription, mostly within Hungary's Jewish community. Subjects include political and social issues, Israel, economy and Jewish cultural activities. The EAJC grant will support translations of East European Jewish writing for a special issue of the journal entitled Jews in Post-Communist Countries. Translators will include Gábor Körner, winner of the Zoltán Attila Prize for Literary Translators, Serbo- Croatian literary translator and author Viktória Radics, and Romanian translator Péter Winter.

ITALY

Enrico Fink 
Enrico Fink is a musician, singer and theatre director who has studied in Italy and the United States. A former jazz musician who has appeared with the Klezmer Klowns, and the Regional Orchestra of Toscana, his first play, 'Patrilineare', premiered in 1998, and was brought out on CD under the title 'Lokshen'. In 2000, he translated and adapted the Yiddish classic by Izik Manger, 'Di Megile Lider'. The play, 'Purimshpil', was performed at the Fiesole Summer festival and the Berlin Jewish Culture Festival. It was later released as a CD in co-operation with Officine della Cultura. His EAJC project, Yonah, is an adaptation of the book of Jonah. It will include both ancient and modern melodies based on Italian Jewish liturgical tradition.

Mario Piazza 
Mario Piazza is a choreographer whose work has been performed by dance companies and opera houses throughout Italy. He is currently guest choreographer at the Palermo Opera House. Born in 1959 in Montreal, Piazza trained with ballet masters in Italy, learned modern dance at the Alvyn Ailey Dance Center and the Martha Graham Dance School. Piazza has won prestigious choreography awards in Italy and abroad, including Prix Volinine in Paris. He created choreographies for operas 'Salome', 'Don Giovanni', and 'Don Carlos'. 'Baby Doll', based on the novel by Tennessee Williams was performed in Canada and Israel. His own dance company performed his works to critical acclaim including 'Labyrinth' (music by Yas-Kaz) and 'Dancing with a Silent Clown' – Buster Keaton. His latest production is Kurt Weill's 'Lady in the Dark' for the Palermo Opera House. His EAJC project, Ghetto, will explore the phenomenon of internal and external exile, as well as the themes of exclusion and marginalization.

La Rassegna Mensile di Israel (Jewish Monthly Review) 
La Rassegna Mensile di Israel is a scholarly journal founded in 1925 and published three times a year by the Union of Italian Jewish Communities, the umbrella organization of Italy's 35,000 Jews. During its more than 75-year history (excluding the suspension of publication during World War II), the journal has published scholarly articles, memoirs, art and literary criticism, book reviews and coverage of major conferences. In addition, La Rassegna Mensile di Israel has published extensive translations of Israeli, Sephardi, and Yiddish literature. For its EAJC project, the journal will devote a special issue to the Jewish experience in post- Communist Europe, 1990-2000.

THE NETHERLANDS 

Anita Frank and Pauline Prior
Anita Frank trained as an art historian and dramatist. In recent years she has been working as a freelance exhibition curator for various musea in the Netherlands. She is currently working for the art and culture department of the Local Government of Amsterdam where she is mainly responsible for exhibiting cultural heritage and art in public spaces. Photography has always been her main focus of attention. 

Pauline Prior is a photographer. A graduate of Gerrit Rietveld Academy for Visual Arts in Amsterdam, she also studied journalism and scenography. Her work has been exhibited widely in the Netherlands, Finland, Italy (at the Biennial Europea Fotografica d'Autore, Florence-Fiesole), Belgium, USA, Poland and Yugoslavia. Pauline Prior is a member of the Committee for the Arts of the Amsterdam Local Government. 

Their joint project Beeldzuilen is a photographic study of Amsterdam Jewry to be exhibited at the Jewish Historical Museum, Amsterdam.

POLAND

Mira Zelechower-Aleksiun 
Mira Zelechower-Aleksiun is a painter whose works have appeared in more than 75 exhibitions in a dozen cities including Krakow, Warsaw, Wroclaw, Jerusalem, New York, London, Rome, the Vatican, Berlin and Paris. A graduate of the Academy of Fine Arts in Wroclaw, Zelechower-Aleksiun's most recent exhibits include the 11th Festival of Jewish Culture in Krakow, the Private Museum Collection Otrebusy exhibit in Warsaw, 'Crumbs of our Heritage' at Yakar in Jerusalem and the Amici di Tworki group exhibition in Paris. Reviews of her work, which is rich in Jewish symbolism, have appeared in the Polish press and The Dictionary of Polish Painters, the New York-based Przeglad Polski and in programmes broadcast by Polish television. Zelechower-Aleksiun's EAJC project, Heritage: Echoes, Traces, Memories is a solo exhibition of 20 acrylic-on-canvas works exploring both the loss and rediscovery of Jewish life in Poland. The venues for the exhibition include the historic Wroclaw Synagogue in the Spring of 2002, while in September her work will be displayed at the renowned Centre for Theatre Research and Practice in Gardziennice.

Malgorzata Sporek-Czyzewska and Wojciech Szroeder 
Malgorzata Sporek-Czyzewska and Wojciech Szroeder are co-founders of Sejny Theatre in Sejny, Poland and are the authors of numerous theatrical projects including Dybuk and Wijuny. They also collaborated in running educational courses for secondary school students dedicated to the multicultural heritage of Eastern Europe. In the 1980s, Sporek-Czyzewska was a member of the avant-garde theatre group Gardziennice and the theatre group Arka in Poznan. She is the co-founder of Centre Borderland for Arts, Cultures, Nations in Sejny. Szroeder is the director of The Sejny Theatre Klezmer Band. Their EAJC project is a new theatre adaptation of the classic Yiddish play, At Night in the Old Market Square by Izaak Lejbusz Perec, incorporating contemporary literary material.

Midrasz (Midrash) 
Midrasz is a Warsaw-based Jewish monthly covering all aspects of Jewish life in contemporary Poland including current events, religion, opinion, essays and literature. Midrasz is the only Polish language publication of its kind, with three distinct groups of readers including Polish Jews, non-Jewish Poles interested in Jewish subjects and Poles of Jewish origin who are exploring their emerging Jewish identity. Averaging 56 pages per issue, its print run of 2,500 has steadily grown since its launch in 1997. The EAJC grant awarded to Midrasz will make possible a special issue of the magazine devoted to the challenges of a re-emerging Jewish culture in contemporary Poland. Subjects will include the revival of Klezmer music, Jewish film and theatre, new Polish language publications on Judaism and Jewish literature, a history of the Jewish Culture Festival in Krakow and a series of interviews with leading authors and intellectuals.

SLOVAKIA

Kyra Munk Matustikova 
Kyra Munk Matustikova is a painter and illustrator based in Bratislava, Slovakia. She holds an MA in Fine Arts from the Institute of Design in Budapest and is a graduate of the Academy of Fine Arts in Bratislava. An art instructor at the Bratislava High School of Art, Matustikova has exhibited her work in group and solo exhibitions in Bratislava (including the Young Artists of 1994 show and at the Slovak National Museum), as well as Budapest, Gent, Munich, Prague, Vienna, Tel Aviv and San Francisco. Matustikova's cover illustration for 'The Canterville Ghost' by Oscar Wide was published in 2000 by Petrus Publications, Bratislava. Her EAJC project, Hommage to Radnóti Miklós will be an installation including paintings, projections and recitals of poetry commemorating Miklós, a renowned Hungarian poet murdered by the Nazis. The exhibit will be shown at the At Home Gallery housed in a former synagogue in Samorin, Slovakia.

SWEDEN

Annie Winblad Jakubowski 
Annie Winblad Jakubowski is a graphic designer and illustrator. Her commissioned work has been exhibited in the Swedish National Travelling Exhibitions, the Swedish National Theatre, and the Nordiska Museet, among others. Her illustrations have appeared in Judisk Krönika magazine. Born in 1962, she is a graduate of The City of Guilds of London Art School and the University of Arts, Crafts and Design in Sweden. Currently she is co-ordinating an exhibition on the history of the Jews of Sweden for the Jewish Museum in Stockholm and is a recipient of a grant from the Swedish government's Arts Grants Committee. Her other projects include 'Museum of Work', an exhibition design in Norrköping. She teaches graphic design, exhibition design and calligraphy at Medborgarskolan in Stokholm. Her EAJC project, Gravestones, will be an exhibition of new calligraphic and symbolic designs— adapted from classic and traditional motifs used in Eastern and Central Europe and combined with recent technological innovations—to create a modern Jewish headstone aesthetic.

 

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