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HIER & JETZT Symposium VIENNA 2024 (23-24.02.2024)

Critical responses from art and activism

to the war, occupation & violence

in Palestine-Israel

WHEN: February 23-24, 2024 

WHERE: Semmelweisklinik, Hockegasse 37, 1180 Vienna, Austria 

"HIER & JETZT", our annual event taking place since 2016, fosters an open and honest dialogue with the aim of effecting change and encouraging a political and just resolution between Israel and Palestine. In the present days, when the hostility and animosity between Jews and Arabs in Israel, pro-israelis and pro-palestinians is reaching heights never known before, promoting dialogues between the different groups and individuals is of utmost importance. "Hier & Jetzt" serves as a safe space for critically assessing the situation in Israel-Palestine, especially in the context of the occupation. This is a challenging endeavor, particularly in German-speaking European countries. Nevertheless, we hold the belief that peace and justice will emerge from grassroots efforts. We deem a space for sincere and respectful exchange as indispensable for achieving a just, enduring peace, contributing to a shift in the current status quo. 

This year's event is prompted by the urgent need to address one of the most severe humanitarian crises in contemporary history, exacerbated by the ongoing war on Gaza, resulting in over 25,000 Palestinian civilian victims, half of whom are children, almost 1,200 Israeli civilian casualties, and 136 individuals abducted.

Theme for This Year: Testimony, documentation and collaboration

The focus of our discourse this year revolves around the relationship between testimony and documentation, with a heightened emphasis on their pivotal role in shaping comprehension of both contemporary happenings and historical events. This underscores the significance we attribute to the act of the documentation. 

The digital era enables immediate visual representations of traumatic events, events that the individuals that have undergone the traumas are not always able to share. However, it also enables the publication of irresponsible and even misleading information. Reliable testimony is central to the relationship between the present, the past and the memory, emphasizing the importance of bearing witness and committing to the truth. 

Information about the events:

23.2 17:00 Assembly

Opening words by: Transform Europe & OneState Embassy. introduction of: Akevot Institute for the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict Research, Combatants for Peace, Standing together Vienna, Jews & Palestinians for Peace, Haus des Friedens, Dialop


23.2 19:00 Exhibition opening

An art exhibition portraying the facets of struggle, resistance, and the reality of occupation.

Artist: Alex Levac, Rafat Zrieq, Osama Zatar, Tobias Steinmaurer, Basil Maqusi, Inbal Volpo

Massages from Gaza, Diary by Hossam Madhoun

Combatants for Peace, Video archive


24.2 10:00 Workshop: Verbal & photographed Testimonies

(Registration required, Number of seats is limited)

Description: In the workshop we shall delve into the practical advantages of sharing verbal and photographed stories and their impact on the struggle for resistance.Conclude the workshop with a call to action: Contribute to a collective digital archive. Preserve and share verbal and photographed testimonies from demonstrations and organizational partners, making a lasting mark on our collective narrative.

24.2 14:00 Workshop: Memory & narrative in the non-truth era

(Registration required, Number of seats is limited)

Description: During this workshop, we'll explore how collective memories influence the credibility of testimonies. Frequently, our minds construct a narrative based on shared memories, even if it doesn't entirely align with factual reality. 

24.2 17:00 Panel: Testimony and documentation from four perspectives (Registration required)

1. Historical research: Akevot Institute for Israeli-Palestinian Conflict Research

2. First hand testimonies: Combatants for peace 

3. Artistic representation: Osama Zatar

4. Arab & Jewish alliance in the diaspora: Standing together Vienna and Jews & Arabs for peace Köln


Description: The panel discussion will explore the Palestinian-Israeli conflict through historical research, first-hand testimonies, artistic representation, and diaspora alliances. Our panelists will unveil the layers of this complex issue, from uncovering historical truths, through the value of sharing personal stories and examining the role of art as a method of documentation. We'll also discuss the potential of alliances between Arab and Jewish communities in the diaspora and how collaboration can contribute to a more comprehensive understanding of the conflict. 


24.2 20:00 Music performance: Marwan Abado

Marwan Abado, a celebrated ambassador of oriental music in Austria, has resided in Vienna for over 30 years. Deeply rooted in the classical Arabic tradition of TAQ´SIM, his music transcends specific rhythms, emanating from inner artistic impulses. Abado's melodies draw strength from his roots while engaging in a cross-cultural dialogue with European traditions, resulting in a distinctive cosmopolitan sound.

Open Call

 We extend a warm invitation to peace organizations, activists and Artists, those promoting Jewish-Arab and Israeli-Palestinian dialogue, and who are dedicated to preserving and documenting the unfolding occurrences and struggles. Together, we aspire to explore by utilizing art and political discussions, the possibility of a joint civil initiative that aims to capture the nonviolent resistance against war, occupation and violence promoting a just peace in Israel-Palestine. This collaborative effort shall aim to transcend biases and create a comprehensive representation of the diverse narratives in this complex historical context.

We believe that by joining forces, we can make a meaningful impact on the critical dialogue surrounding the Israeli occupation and on going war.

Organised in collaboration with transform! europe 

Transform! europe is partially financed through a subsidy from the European Parliament. The sole liability rests with the author and the European Parliament is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information contained in this publication.

Photo & Videos from the event:


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