Whilst touring the bustling, fertile city of Tel Aviv, it’s fairly easy to overlook a number of underground, niche events happening right under your nose. Many travellers flock to popular establishments to partake in typical Israeli sightseeing activities, such as lounging on Gordon beach and visiting the shuk, but if you want a more authentic experience with a tinge of local flavor, taking the road less travelled will turn out to be quite advantageous. While art museums are fantastic facilities to appreciate, learn from, and gaze at the talents of others, consider a street photography exhibit and competition, which allows you to actively participate in the creative process. Taking place on 3 HaSolelim street on Monday June 15th, this exhibit/competition combo centers around the theme of urban humor, evoking sweeping senses of inspiration and new perspectives. The printed images will be judged by professional photographers Felix Lope and Alex Levac, and admired by amateurs and aficionados alike. Amongst the grand prizes are a photography workshop, Fujifilm camera, and feedback meetings with the judges themselves. Whether you submit your best work or simply browse the exhibition, you’re bound to share a unique experience with like-minded, artistic individuals.
If you crave cinematic excellence in your life, look no further than the Tel Aviv International Student Film Festival, which runs from May 31st to June 6th. Founded in 1986, the non-profit organization was born out of a desire to promote student creativity worldwide. It is managed solely by student volunteers who live and breathe art and cinema, which cultivates a youthful, breezy energy that allows the festival to stand out from others. In addition to film screenings and contests, top-notch master classes with prestigious editors and producers as well as Skype calls with directors are all hosted in the comfort of the Tel Aviv Cinematheque. Information about the program and tickets can be found here: http://www.taufilmfest.com/?lang=en
Spending hours upon hours wandering through the dizzying mazes of a mall looking for a designer handbag isn’t the greatest way to spend your precious time in the Middle East. Enter Kuchinate, the African Refuge Women’s Collective, a project providing economic empowerment as well as psychological rehabilitation to African asylum seeking women in Israel. By using recycled cloth materials from local factories, these strong ladies weave multicolored handicrafts such as baskets, totes, and carpets. The project works in tandem with places such as the Tel Aviv Art Studio and various open houses, hosting workshops and sales where you can learn the art of crocheting from the masters themselves and get to know the beautiful faces behind the trade. Find information about their next event or schedule a studio visits here: http://www.kuchinate.com/ Getting a taste of Tel Aviv culture is easy if you are skimming the surface, but digging deeper is a worthy challenge. By scouting out events that locals put on their calendars, you will enjoy a richer dimension of travel in Israel’s most attractive, happening city.