Preface – We’re Not Alone

The Social-Economic Academy
The Israeli Center for Digital Art
Translated by: Margalit Rodgers

This issue of Maarav is the product of a collaboration with The Social-Economic Academy as part of the “We’re Not Alone” exhibition currently showing at the Israeli Center for Digital Art.

“We’re Not Alone” presents examples of the possibilities and potential of art in the present era to lay the foundations and provide the tools for protesting against and contending with the sociopolitical reality in which we live, and not merely to create objects or similes. It reflects the desire to propose a reading and formulation of social practices in art by examining several case studies from different places around the world. This is based on the premise that if community art participates in a reality that is the product of global economic and political processes, it can also be relevant outside the community in which it was first made.

Writers selected by The Social-Economic Academy for inclusion in this issue include former and present lecturers in the Academy, and additional writers on diverse subjects from the socioeconomic sphere, to which this issue is dedicated, such as community gardening, globalization, and public housing.

The Social-Economic Academy (www.sea.org.il) is a non-profit institute of learning that encourages education and knowledge acquisition in economics and society from a critical perspective, and develops tools for social activism. The Academy was founded in 2004 in response to the absence of a comprehensive public debate in Israel on these subjects, which enabled powerful elements in society and government to manage Israel’s economic policy without transparency and civic involvement, consequently creating increasingly widening social gaps.

The Academy’s aim is to make critical knowledge on socioeconomic issues accessible to the general public, to provide an institute of learning for social activists at the beginning of their road, and anyone seeking to delve into these subjects, and to motivate its students to act for social change. Studies encompass diverse subjects in the socioeconomic sphere, such as economic policy in Israel and around the world, social outlooks in education, the welfare system, the health system, the state budget, environmental quality, and so forth.