The question of what came first – my political consciousness or my performance in public space – has always been contested. I was born in Israel-Palestine but fled at a young age to the U.S. with my parents in their attempt to escape Israeli military service, war and political persecution. I returned to Israel-Palestine as an adult and lived there for a decisive decade of my life, during which I engulfed myself in political activism. I took part in forming the largest Israeli-Palestinian popular resistance group in the post-Second-Intifada period Anarchists Against the Wall, as well as the first queer community in the Middle East. I also became the first outed sex worker to fight for the rights of sex workers and coined the term ‘sex work’ in Hebrew. In the midst of all of that, I started performing, curating and coordinating performances and performative actions that were deeply rooted and connected to my political reality.
My initial performances took place at the Queerhana, Tel Aviv’s first queer party series that took place between 2002-2009 which I also took part in organizing, as well as the first queer events to be held in Jerusalem and Haifa. Street performative actions and public interventions took form of ‘Saluting the National Erection’, a coordinated group performative action noting 40 years to the Israeli Occupation on the streets of Tel Aviv, and ‘War Is Good’, a public neo-burlesque performance conducted in Tel Aviv’s Electricity Park. I also co-curated in several collaborative queer culture collectives, such as Cinema Paradildo, a series of monthly queer culture events in Tel Aviv that took place in 2007-2008, where I also performed and choreographed. Expanding beyond queer circles, I curated and performed in a group performance with the popular Israeli singer-songwriter Eran Zur in the show ‘Another Sex’ (‘Sex Acher’) in 2008 and with the acclaimed poet Aharon Shabtai at the Darom Film Festival in Sderot in 2010, and created full-length shows abroad at the Rdece Zore Festival in Ljubljana, at the Fallen Women Follies in Seattle, and at Sabotage at MIKZ and the Schokoladen Club in Berlin.
The point of transition to performance arts led me to migrate, for the third time, to Berlin. My performances were initially informed by queer tactics which were initially explored on Berlin’s finest queer stages, such as such as Gegen party series, the Kitkat Club, Südblock, Monster Ronson’s and Barbie Deinhoff’s before expanding my work from the queer ghetto to a broader audience.
My performance ‘Watch Me Work”, which featured an intervention of live sex work in the context of feminism was featured at the 2012 Transmediale Festival at the Haus Der Kulturen Der Welt and have since been featured in such locations as City of Women in Ljubljana and Kampnagel’s Summer Festival in Hamburg in 2014. In 2013 my performance ‘What’s Left/Was Übrig Bleibt..’ was featured twice at Ballhaus Ost in Berlin where I also received a residency. My project ”Democracy in Israel” – a live performative intervention dealing with elections, false notions of democracy, ‘choice’ and BDSM was performed on the streets and voting polls in Israel’s election day. It will soon become a short film. This year my performance “Running/The Better Half” which dealt with blaxploitation, black lives matter and personal survival was featured at QueerLisboa’s ‘Are You For Real?’ Festival in Lisbon.
The heart of my performances remains political. I am currently a student for body-based performance art at the Solo/Dance/Authorship MA program that is hosted by Hochschulübergreifendes Zentrum Tanz (HZT) and the University of the Arts (UDK). In it I am currently working on a research project called “Terrorism is for Everybody” (title based on bell hooks’ ‘Feminism is for Everybody”) and I hope to graduate in 2017, if I don’t get kicked out before then for political reasons, or accidentally set myself or the school on fire. My political activities span generally outside the realm of my performance, for instance at the sex-worker-led project “Peers bei Hydra” which I co-founded and co-manage.