Go Deeper Making Art in 2017: Rebecca Katherine Hirsch on Bad Activist

Making Art in 2017: Rebecca Katherine Hirsch on Bad Activist

Posted September 6th, 2017

Photo by Kevin Watkins.

Name: Rebecca Katherine Hirsch

Company: Humble Mumbles

Show in 2017 FestivalBad Activist: Sex Politics, Palestine and You

FringeArtsTell us about your show. 

Rebecca Katherine Hirsch: On one hand, this show is an eros-drenched saga of scapegoating and shame. On another hand, it’s a specific plea to my fellow Jews of America to rethink about our diaspora relationship to Israel! It comes from life: my travels to Palestine/Israel which have contained many complicated situations such as romances, apocryphal conversations, and what someone who inspired this play once called “solidarity sex—sex born of the struggle.”

FringeArtsHow have your interests in or approach to art making changed in the last year?

Rebecca Katherine Hirsch: My interests in trauma, representative sexuality, Zionism, and feminism have, over the years, crystallized, solidified, fragmented, evaporated, and reconvened, among other things! The two relationships featured in this play—one unequal Jewish–American friendship, one unequal American–Palestinian romance—have happened and re-happened and the experiences have altered the art (and vice versa).

FringeArtsTell us about an instance from 2017 where your interaction with art provided some much needed solace or refuge from outside troubles.

Rebecca Katherine Hirsch: Art as documentation helps keeps me sane. For example, a subjectively experienced Jerusalem bar night:

Photo by Rebecca Katherine Hirsch.

Me: “Where are you from?”
Barwoman: “Russia”
Me: “Oh cool.”
Barwoman: “Yeah, my father is Jewish, but not my mother, so in Israel I’m not considered Jewish. It’s not on my ID. Jewish Israelis, they look at me with pity.”
Me: “Whoa!”
Barwoman (to Friend): “And you, you look very Arab; North African.”
Friend: “When I was in Nigeria, I was white! The Africans, they looked at me with . . . confusion.”

I’m always writing down snippets of conversation, memories or ideas to keep me grounded, provide a base and reference point for what happened, a tree to hold onto in a tsunami, I guess.


Bad Activist: Sex Politics, Palestine and You
Humble Mumbles

$5 suggested / 90 minutes

Sept 16 & 22 @ The Art Church of West Philadelphia, 5219 Webster St 

Sept 17 @ The Rotunda, 4014 Walnut St