Exile and Return: An Artistic Wandering
The workshop series Exile and Return: An Artistic Wandering investigates the key
themes of Passover and its continued and evolving relevance by drawing on personal,
political and spiritual stories of exile and return.

2020 brought the Pesach story into sharp focus: a year of plagues and displacement, of
injustice and calls for freedom. In 2021, we look toward Pesach longing for a return - to the
ones we love, to our native lands - but for many, continued exile from familiar people and
places is a matter of necessity rather than choice. In this time of closed borders and
uncertainty, the themes of exile and return that are so central to the passover story feel
particularly pertinent.

Giuliana Kiersz and Ben Osborn:

Writer and poet Giuliana Kiersz and composer and lyricist Ben Osborn will lead two
workshops aimed at creating a common space to learn and share passover stories. These
workshops use writing as a social act; a way to come together and develop narratives, to
reflect on our past and present.

Giuliana’s workshop will build on participants’ personal stories of and associations with
passover. The workshop will create maps built from this input, generating connections
among the stories and revealing the links between the personal and the collective. The
intention is to write poems together, creating a new collective story that can contain
personal experiences and at the same time bring those experiences to a shared and
common territory; a sensitive space in which to reflect on passover and the concept of
exile, moving, and feeling homed or unhomed.

Working from existing songs that tell the Passover story - both ancient and modern - Ben’s
workshop will explore how song can express a state of exile. Participants will see how
different songwriters and singers have approached the story and its themes through text
and music, and be guided in developing their own lyrical and musical responses. Ben will
shape the material generated in the workshop into recorded songs, music and sound art.

Paige Harouse and David Schapiro:

Each year, we prepare for Passover. Homes are cleaned, chametz is removed, and charoset is prepared. And then we gather to tell a story--but whose story is it? The Talmud teaches that: “In each and every generation, a person is obligated to see themselves as if they too came out of Egypt.” (B. Pesachim 116b) Join Baseniks David Schapiro and Paige Harouse on March 17th to explore the stories that Haggadot, the key text of the Passover seder, have told over time. Learn how to insert your life into the Passover story and create commentary and customs to use in your seder this year. Additionally, join David and Paige for an informal session on the 24th, where you can learn and dialogue around ideas for personalizing the Seder experience.

Giuliana Kiersz: Writing our deserts // 3rd of March 2021 at 19:00

Ben Osborn: Songs of Exile and Return // 10th of March 2021 at 19:00

David Schapiro and Paige Harouse: Haggadot // 17th of March 2021 at 19:00

David Schapiro and Paige Harouse: Passover in Your Home // 24th of March 2021at 19:00

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