7: Excerpt, Michal Govrin's "Snapshots," 2002.
Michal Govrin, a prolific Israeli author, poet, and director, is interested in narratives of Jewish Diaspora and redemption, the legacies of the Holocaust, and the Zionist idea. She explores the way that multiple, conflicting narratives complicate the possibility for peace.
In this excerpt from her novel Snapshots, Ilana Tsuriel, a renowned Israeli architect, submits a plan for a "Peace Monument" in Jerusalem that consists of a series of impermanent structures (huts, like sukkahs) that show the connection of Israelis and Palestinians to the land. She describes the project, its aesthetics and politics, explaining the revolutionary potential of the temporary structure of the sukkah.
Suggested Activity: Ask your students to draw a picture of the monument as they imagine it, based on this description. What is the architect trying to say, with this monument, about the nature of peace? Have students discuss whether sukkahs would or would not make a meaningful monument to peace.
Source: Michal Govrin, Snapshots, trans. Barbara Harshav. (New York: Riverhead Books, 2007), 74-75.