"In 1948 and 1976 the United Nations proclaimed long lists of human rights, but the immense majority of humanity enjoys only the rights to see, hear, and remain silent," Uruguayan writer Eduardo Galeano declared. "Suppose we start by exercising the never-proclaimed right to dream? Suppose we rave a bit? Let’s set our sights beyond the abominations of today, to divine another possible world..."
Inspired by Galeano's words, artists Or Zubalsky (born in Israel, based in Brooklyn) and Christhian Diaz have started "Suppose We Rave a Bit," a project that seeks to reimagine a very specific 21st century event: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's planned March 3 speech to Congress, one that is expected to address nuclear negotiations between the United States and Iran.
In collaboration with Alona Weiss, Kevin Connell and other anonymous speakers, the "Suppose we Rave a Bit" participants have taken to Vimeo -- Netanyahu masks and all -- as a form of protest, inviting the public to perform their own rendition of the speech they wish Netanyahu would give.
"In what is criticized as a political stunt just prior the elections in Israel, Netanyahu is likely to follow his pattern of fear mongering and diverting attention from his own failures," the group claims online. "We recognize that both the speech itself as well as the controversy surrounding it put aside the pressing issues of the occupation in Palestine, from social inequality to racism and injustice."
Earlier this year, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) announced that he had invited Netanyahu -- up for re-election in Israel on March 17 -- to address Congress on the dangers of U.S. negotiations with Iran. The invitations sparked controversy as many saw the invitation as a "snub" to Obama, whose administration has maintained that talks with Iran are necessary in preventing the country from obtaining a nuclear weapon.
"I plan to speak about an Iranian regime that is threatening to destroy Israel, devouring country after country in the Middle East, that's exporting terror around the world and is developing, as we speak, the capacity to make nuclear weapons -- lots of them," the prime minister said on Monday, before his appearance in Congress.
You can see a preview of the "ravers" who've begun performing their dream versions of Netanyahu's talk here. Some of the videos simply show participants reading from pages, others are strumming banjos as they recite their words. Below each video is the text from the imagined speeches. "The racism and hatred that I am describing to you are rooted so deeply in our culture that it will take generations to mend the damage," Or Zubalsky writes. "It is not an easy task but it must start, and it starts today."
Head over to the Vimeo page to see the entire project, which will be updated as more videos come in.
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