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A wall for peace

Creation of a peace artwork on the front wall of the Jewish-Arab Beit Hagefen cultural center

30 November 2020
Year :
Location :
Beit Hagefen cultural center, Haifa

Borders are the scars of history.

In 1992, after the creation of the St Gilles subway station’s artwork about the borders of the world, Schein and the association Inscrire were invited to Israel to continue drawing this borderless line on the walls of a region of the world where the question of borders takes on a very acute meaning.

In 1948, in Palestine in the Middle East, the region was divided into two separate territories by political leaders in order to solve the European problem of World War II.

A humanly failed division, because it is completely unjust, created a paradise for some people, while others lost their land, with disastrous consequences until today.

The artwork is based on the text written by French writer Michel Butor in 1985,  and the content is quite enlightening: Pluie sur les Frontières (Rain on the Borders). The text is inscribed on the façade of the Beit Hagefen center in French, Hebrew, and Arabic. It is crossed by an abstract line, the line that separates Israel from Palestine.

A division created by “kindly fanatics at palaver talks in pavilions with pendants and marquetry” to mark boundary lines in the ground, signs, walls, guarded by armies that will never be able to create a viable world. For these border walls simply make the fundamental notions of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights impossible: freedom, equality, justice, fraternity, solidarity, and citizenship are being eroded on all sides. Rain should erase these walls, whose concrete is made of agglomerates of fear.

“O pluie, efface pour nous ces frontières, lave nos continents de ces zébrures doucereusement infligées par le fouet diplomatique d’aimables forcenés lors de palabres dans des pavillons à pendeloques et marqueterie ; emporte-nous dans ton immense babil, dans ton tranquille galop menu jusqu’à ces autres frontières qui ne correspondent à aucune ligne tracée sur une carte , gardées par nulle armée, marquées par nulles pancartes , dans ces régions où les contours du savoir se précipitent en cataractes dans les abîmes qui les font flamber ! Frontières, donnez nous votre pluie ! O pluies des  frontières , baignez nos quadrillages et nos ulcères; emportez-nous de l’autre côté des frontières de la pluie, flagellez notre engourdissement et dissolvez-nous dans les bonheurs de la germination  et de la vaporisation, filtrant avec émoi par toutes les parois de notre corps et des heures.”


Michel Butor, writer
Emile Habibi, Palestinian poet
Yehuda Lancry, writer and Bittern specialist
Bluma Finkelstein, poet
Yael Armanet, writer
Caroline Duchatelet
Federica Matta, artist
Alliance Française de Haïfa
Yves Bousquet, Director of the Alliance Française
Amram Mitzna, the Mayor of Haifa


Alliance Française
Mairie de Haïfa
Métro de Bruxelles STIB


Françoise Schein
Bluma Finkelstein
Caroline Duchatelet