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Poster for public performance, 2018, designed by Gila Kaplan and Avi Bohbot
Poster for public performance, 2018, designed by Gila Kaplan and Avi Bohbot

Bury Our Weapons, Not Our Bodies!

Saturday, September 22, 2018
2:00 p.m.: Performance begins at Independence National Historical Park
4:00 p.m.: Performance resumes outside the Museum’s West Entrance (Anne d’Harnoncourt Drive, Philadelphia, PA 19130)

A symbolic burial and call to action

Conceived by Yael Bartana, this public performance challenges systems of violence and displacement through a symbolic burial and a call to action. Forming a “living monument” to the end of violence, this performance includes a public procession, a burial of weapons (both literal and metaphorical), and a series of eulogies about war, peace, and democracy. Bringing together funerary tradition, military ritual, and personal testimony, Bury Our Weapons, Not Our Bodies! deepens the artist’s investigations of memory and national identity.

The performance is inspired by the work of Israeli dance composer Noa Eshkol (1924–2007). More specifically, it evokes Eshkol’s 1953 assembly performance at Kibbutz Lohamei HaGeta'ot (the Ghetto Fighters’ Kibbutz), commissioned in memorial to the tenth anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. The movements are composed by Mor Bashan and Ruti Sela of the Noa Eshkol Chamber Dance Group.

This public performance is offered in conjunction with the exhibition Yael Bartana: And Europe Will Be Stunned.


Jennifer Abrevaya, Benjamin Behrend, Lesley Berkowitz, Julianna Boylan, Daniella Brown, Erin Carney, Taylor Cawley, Sebastian Cummings, Angie Fennell, Adrianna Jimenez Gonzalez, Dana Herbert, Anita Holland, Leah Holleran, Briannon Holstein, Matthew John Janis, Jung-eun Kim, Amalia Wiatr Lewis, Jacqueline Rose Libby, Emma Manion, Jaime Maseda, Kayla Simone McGill, Kevin Meehan, Rhonda Moore, Sarah Muehlbauer, Mphoentle Ndaba, Chloe Marie Newton, Hillary Pearson, Paige Phillips, Vitche-Boul Ra, Gabrielle Revlock, Matthew Rios, Roberto Rodriguez-Garcia, Nia Simmons, Andrew Smith, Margot Steinberg, Katherine Sullivan, Dwayne Townsend, Haylee Warner, Sarah Warren, and Emily White


Master of Ceremonies Olwen Fouéré, Parkway Center City Middle College student Simone Akridge, singer John Carr, Councilwoman Helen Gym, war veteran Michael Miller, professor Gil Hochberg, and community organizer Melissa Robbins

Artistic Team

Yael Bartana (artist), Mor Bashan & Ruti Sela (dance composers from the Noa Eshkol Chamber Dance Group), Gila Kaplan & Avi Bohbot (graphic designers), Kierceton Keller (costume & props assistant), Daniel Meir (sound designer), Constance Mensch (photographer), Itai Neeman (cinematographer), Naama Pyritz (film producer), Ian Rose (prop weapons wrangler), Livnat Sela (assistant director), Samuel David Ben Shalom (set designer), Valerie Scarfone (props artisan), and Yael Shenberger (costume designer), Saskia Wendland, Itamar Gov, Esper Postmar, and Emil (Bartana Studio)


Thank you to all on-site mediators, volunteer participants, and outreach organizers, including Maureen Boland of Parkway Center City Middle College and Lovella Calica of Warrior Writers. A special thanks to the City of Philadelphia, Fairmount Park, Laurel Hill Cemetery, the National Park Service, and Philadelphia Parks & Recreation. Production support provided by Natalia Rodriguez and Traction Company. Additional thanks to the staff of the Philadelphia Museum of Art who helped to bring this project to fruition, including Chelsea Sanz, Performance Production Coordinator. This exhibition and performance commission were organized by Amanda Sroka, Assistant Curator of Contemporary Art.