Art and Artists on Being Black and Jewish (Exhibit & Recording)

An image from the Witness exhibit

Witness, a debut exhibition of the work of Toronto-based photo-video artist Ella Cooper, a Jew of Color, who uses movement and performance-based techniques to explore identity and reclaim representations of Black bodies was showcased by Fenster, an independent artist-run exhibition space in Toronto, in late 2020 and early 2021.

This resource includes:

  1. An article describing the exhibit and a special panel of Black Jewish artists that was held online.
     
  2. A description of the exhibit and the artist including photos of and from the showcase.
     
  3. A recording of the artists' panel (embedded and with more info below).
Remote video URL

A panel of Black Jewish artists discussed the intersection of Judaism and race, using Cooper’s portraits as a jumping-off point. Recorded December 2020, it was one of the first panels to specifically bring together Jewish artists of color. The panel included Ella Cooper, Rebecca S’manga Frank, Sara Yacobi-Harris, and Anthony Russell.

The artist convening was sponsored in partnership with No Silence on Race, a group that pushes for racial equity and inclusivity in Jewish spaces in Canada. The recording is embedded above and also on the Fenster page that includes the panel's bios.

A special note that Kendell Pinkney, a Brooklyn-based theater artist of color and rabbinical school student at the Jewish Theological Seminary, moderated the event. Kendell was among The Jewish Week’s 2017 “36 Under 36” honorees and serves as a valued consultant to The Jewish Education Project.

Details

Setting

  • After School and Beyond
  • Congregational Learning
  • Day Schools and Yeshivas
  • Teen Engagement
  • Camp