"Der Mensch bringt sogar die Wüsten zum Blühen. Die einzige Wüste, die ihm noch Widerstand bietet, befindet sich in seinem Kopf"- Ephraim Kishon
"Man even makes the deserts bloom. The only desert that still offers him resistance is in his head." - Ephraim Kishon
In 2015, our two countries, Germany and Israel, celebrated the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations. During the celebrations, we looked back in amazement on how the relations, despite a troublesome past, have bloomed and flourished over the years. However, how do we move beyond correct political and diplomatic relations and ensure that both nations overcome the clichéd images and preconceptions our peoples are still harboring about each other?
In 2019, we entered the third round of our exchange project between journalism students from the Tel Aviv University and from the Deutsche Journalistenschule. Since the media plays such a crucial role in disseminating the images each one carries within her or him about the other country and its people, we decided to come up with a project that will break through the preconceptions and resistance in our heads, and allow new perspectives to develop.
The objective of this year's exchange program was to learn together new journalistic skills in the form of a mobile reporting course, and produce journalistic videos in mixed teams of Germans and Israelis, both in Tel Aviv and in Munich. The videos you will see here deal with the topic of "Night and Games". The topic "games" was chosen due to an exceptional opportunity that offered itself to our project. Accompanying the Israeli students was Liron Shamam, an Israeli journalist and the granddaughter of Yossef Gutfreund, the Israeli wrestling judge who was one of the 11 victims of the Olympic massacre in Munich in 1972. This was her first visit to Munich and to the site of the attack, which was made additionally moving since her daughter, the great-granddaughter of Yossef Gutfreund, accompanied her. Liron's personal journey from Tel Aviv to Munich was filmed by one of the student teams, however, since the video was damaged you will only see pictures from the visit to the memorial site.
The additional 21 videos you will see are the product of tremendous teamwork of the students, who produced entertaining, original and insightful videos that provoke new perspectives on both German and Israeli realities, providing a glimpse into the social and cultural issues that each country is dealing with.
We are very happy to share these videos with you, and thank the students and mentors for their personal and professional dedication to make the "deserts bloom".