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Transnational Identities

Award Winner
Published: November 2016
ISBN: 9780814342503
Pages: 168 Size: 6 x 9
Illustrations: 31 color photos; 4 b&w photos
Published: November 2016
ISBN: 9780814342510
ISBN: 0814342507
Book Images

This book is a pioneering contribution to the critical discussion of migratory narratives in Israel.When I looked at the title I thought to myself that so much has been written about migration; however, once I dived into the book I realized that it is the first scholarly book that addresses the gender facets of contemporary migrant women in Israel through art. By analyzing artworks of migrant women, the book offers a unique and compelling perspective from which to discuss the timely and urgent subject. It therefore makes a significant contribution to research into contemporary issues of transnationalism in Israel, and at the same time serves as a theoretical platform for understanding similar phenomena in other parts of the world.

– Galia Sabar, professor of African and migration studies, Tel Aviv University

Dekel’s pioneering study on contemporary art and migration in Israel is based on in-depth interviews with the artists who are women who emigrated to Israel from the former Soviet Union and Ethiopia, as well as on women ‘foreign workers’ from the Philippines. It makes a unique contribution to scholarship on art and migration, Israel studies, and feminist art history.

– Ruth E. Iskin, author of The Poster: Art, Advertising, Design, and Collecting, 1860s–1900s and Modern Women and Parisian Consumer Culture in Impressionist Painting

With international migration being one of the most critical issues facing the global community in the twenty-first century, Tal Dekel's new book engages in a timely discussion of gender, identity, and diaspora in contemporary Israeli arts and culture. Based on primary research and grounded in post-colonial and transnational theories, Dekel offers compelling case studies that shed light on identity construction in the work of Ethiopian-, Soviet-, and Philippine-born female artists and workers who arrived in Israel in the 1990s. For all of the women Dekel interviewed, the concepts of transnationalism and intersectionality are at the heart of their practice, as they navigate what it means to be Israeli women artists in light of their diverse experiences of gender, class, race, ethnicity, and religion.

– Paula J. Birnbaum, author of Women Artists in Interwar France, Department of Art and Architecture, University of San Francisco

In this rich and profound book, art historian Tal Dekel presents the individual voices and the diverse artistic expressions of women immigrants in a transnational era. Departing from a critical and reflexive feminist point of view, she analyzes the intersectionality of class, race, nationality, and gender in Israel. Her study of the immigration experience and the coping mechanisms of women immigrants from the former Soviet Union, and Ethiopia, and of migrant workers from the Philippines, allows her to transform the stories of immigrants from the private to the political, to challenge many of the categories that we have become accustomed to associating with immigration, and to provide a valuable lesson about global emerging identities and gendered arrangements.

– Hanna Herzog, professor emerita of Sociology, Tel Aviv University

In her meticulously researched study, Tal Dekel offers a fascinating insight into works by women artists in Israel who are from the former Soviet Union, Ethiopia, and the Philippines. Revealing their susceptibility to xenophobia and sexism as well as religious and class prejudice, Dekel explores how these artists create works that offer compelling commentaries about these experiences and their transnational identities.

– Brenda Schmahmann, South African Research Chair in South African Art and Visual Culture, University of Johannesburg

Transnational Identities seeks to give power to the voices of immigrant ans migrant women artists whose experiences in an ethno-nation state are marked by various degrees of complexity and difficulties. As such, it is a strong addition to the discussion on contemporary life in Israel today, particularly the diverse stories of women migrants and their art. If anything, the book left me wanting to discover and enjoy more artworks by these pioneering women.

– Lynne Swarts, Studies in Contemporary Jewry

  • 2016 Foreword INDIES Book Award - Result: Finalist for Social Sciences