Neta and Amit
I met with Moroccan singers Neta Elkayam and Amit Chai Cohen at their magical home in Katamon. The couple (on-stage and off-stage) had just returned to Jerusalem heat after touring and traveling in Morocco. I was treated to some minty-infusion tea as we spoke about their trip, art and cultural background.
Elkayam spoke passionately about the revival of Moroccan music in Israel (which infuses Arabic, Hebrew, French, and Spanish styles), the political dimensions of her work and her commitment to sharing her own cultural heritage widely.
Both as a visual artist and musician Elkayam's work plays with her identity as a Arabic speaking Jewish Israeli and the complexity that this holds.
We head to the studio which is also used as a gallery. Elkayam shows me some of her previous work including her self-portrait as a Bar Mitzvah Boy (she did not want to have a Bat Mitzvah) and also the work created in collaboration with her father, who is also a visual artist, specialising in Judaica.
In the footage taken from the exhibition 'Thread of Gold' you can see Elkayam's father draw on her face, the symbols are those taken from his paintings:
Daughter - בת from Neta Elkayam on Vimeo.The couple are big fans of the Jerusalem Season of Culture, which has not only supported their work but also given a platform for many fringe and experimental artists within the city. As part of the Jerusalem Season of Culture (2013), the singers Neta Elkayam and Amit Chai Cohen host a concert in their home, an intimate performance for around 40 people accompanied by food, drinks and an exhibition.
Neta Elkayam and Amit Chai Cohen host a concert in their home (2013).