The seven interviews that follow emerged as the contingent intersection of a questioning on the theme of the Study-Days of the ECF, Being Mother, and the particular atmosphere we encountered in Israel, having spent there twenty five days during the operation Tsouk eitan (Solid Rock) in Gaza.

In Tel-Aviv as in Galilee, we met with ebullience of speech. Everyone takes up a position in relation to the famous situation. Colleagues, friends, also taxi drivers, restaurant staff, and market sellers – every position could be found there. One is intransigent in being for or against, being supportive one day and opposed the next one, one takes the way of the dialectic…

At first sight, it can be perceived that everyone goes to the sources of the communitarian identifications that, inevitably, become more extreme and crystallised for the occasion. But beyond the screens of identifications, it is often possible to grasp what everyone received with the mother’s milk leaving a trace in his or her body.

This is especially the case when one steps aside and questions one’s interlocutor on the effects the expression “being mother” has on him or her.

We met four Israeli artists, Jewish by origin, in Tel-Aviv and in Jaffa, and three Palestinian artists in the town of Acco (St John of Acre) and in the village of Peki’in. In the place where people’s private history is interlaced with the great History, it was not possible to separate these two dimensions, especially in a moment of crisis.

The events take for the subject the figure of a real Other who interferes in the routines of jouissance of the private life. They threaten the body and, by this stroke, leave traces on it. It proved true for our interlocutors and it proved equally true for us.

What have we learnt? That to be a mother implies for some women a relation with the loss, with the anguish that follows. That maternity divides women, at the level of the symbolic or of the real, with the guilt that follows. That for a boy the mother can be a figure that represents the foundations of his existence, his identifications, his fatherland, his desire and, here, with the admiration that follows.

These meetings would not have been possible without the mediation of the following colleagues from the GIEP, Israeli Society of the NLS: Galia Weinstein, Netta Nashilevich, Gabriel Dahan and Khalil Sbeit

Patricia Bosquin-Caroz and Gil Caroz

Translated into English by Bogdan Wolf.

 

 To consult the articles, click on the titles

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Between nappies and welding


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Carla’s Burka


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The mothers’ party


R Kenan


Gone forever


Judith Katzir 1


The voice of Zilah


R Guetta.affiche


Breathing!


R Morkus


Being mother, an improvisation