Sefrou and Baghdad

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Abstract

Since the beginning of the 1980s Mizrachi theatre practitioners have confronted the problem of community segregation and the ways in which Mizrachi characters are represented. Gabriel Ben-Simchon and Sammy Michael represent two approaches chosen by playwrights and story-tellers of eastern origins (from Arab countries) in their confrontation with the changes that have taken place among their groups and with the stereotyping of these groups. These two approaches are: anti-stereotyping and specific individualization. Michael has chosen a detailed and intrusive characterization, and his characters feature elements of: beauty, ugliness and, mainly, humanity. In contrast, Ben-Simchon, in his plays and stories, has chosen the anti-stereotype as a paradigm that distances his Moroccan-Jewish characters from reality and sends them soaring into a legendary world. Both these playwrights are fully integrated into Israeli society and culture. They have separated from the past (willingly, or nostalgically), but have not shaken off their Arabic cultural links and preach for a shared future by Jews and Arabs in a modern state.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)542-562
Number of pages21
JournalIsrael Affairs
Volume17
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2011

Keywords

  • Anti-stereotype
  • Gabriel ben simhon
  • Individualization
  • Israeli theatre
  • Sammy michael
  • The oriental stereotype

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