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Israeli Ink: Body Art Bares Itself in Beersheba

While working on Tattoo Jew I have become interested in the world of Jewish ink in Israel. In comparison with diaspora Jews (particularly in the United States) Israelis have been slower to embrace tattoos as a way to express their Jewish identity. There are recent examples of children and grandchildren of Auschwitz survivors in Israel getting inked with identical numbers to those on their relatives. This act of commemoration was detailed in a New York Times article last year titled Proudly Bearing Elders’ Scars, Their Skin Says ‘Never Forget’. But most of the inked Israelis and tattoo artists have been, in my experience, disconnected with the relationship between Jewish identity and tattoos. So, imagine my excitement upon reading about an exhibit by Yasmine Berger titled “Tattoos: Tattoo Representations in Contemporary Art,” at Beersheba's HaBeer Gallery sponsored by Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. According to Ms. Bergner, “I wanted to see if I could find a place in Judaism that could accept tattooing, seeing how everyone can engage in it as a private ritual.”
The Times of Israel has a fascinating article about Ms. Berger's exhibit which you can read here: Body Art Bares Itself in Beersheba.
If you want to view a Google translated version of her site in English you can view it here. Or, if you read Hebrew just click here.
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