Walk Leader: Elisheva Zeltzer
Text by: Elisheva Zeltzer
Photographs by: Elisheva Zeltzer
There are hundreds of thousands of disabled people living in Israel, many of whom are veterans of Israel Defense Forces. Many parts of Tel Aviv that were built more than 100 years ago are inaccessible to them.
In order to increase the awareness of the importance of making Tel Aviv accessible – including walking routes, public buildings, entertainment areas – I decided to create two accessible walking tours. A group of disabled people came in specially from Haifa by accessible bus that also brought their escorts and wheel chairs. About ten able bodied people joined us. It was important to me that they witness something of the hardships that those with different abilities face day by day.
As we had our first coffee at an accessible coffee shop we were joined by a street artist that I had invited to talk about his work.
The tour started out at Kiriyat HaMelacha, on the border between Tel Aviv and Yaffo, an area of unique architecture that was built in the 1960s. The area is undergoing a significant change from housing light industry to hosting artists and their workshops. We noticed that the streets offered an additional perspective – the architecture.
This was also a first acquaintance with the world of underground graffiti – flourishing in these urban margins – that has its own internal codes and behaviors. As we walked we viewed the creations of the city’s leading street artists, and observed their individual styles. We discussed the esthetics of their work in the context of the street, and how their paintings create collages and integrate with the urban area. We asked ourselves whether this was authentic art or merely vandalism, and why these artists choose to work in the public domain.
We ended our tour with a vista from the rooftop of the Benyamini Contemporary Ceramics Center.
It was colorful. It was interesting. To me it went beyond an exciting experience, and I returned home very satisfied.