Jerusalem has been studied extensively by scholars across a range of disciplines in the social sciences and humanities. However, the arts, specifically public performance arts, have rarely been leveraged as a primary source to inquire into the city’s social structures. This research project examines how cultural institutions within the Old City of Jerusalem (focusing on the Tower of David Museum site) reflect and shape the relationship between citizenship and cultural performances. The article inquires how a cultural institute in a contested city can become an allied sphere, a source for joint creation, and even a venue for peacebuilding. The events and performances addressed in this article provide examples of both straightforward and indirect peace process approaches, revealing culture’s potential use and limits in a contested environment. The author suggests that a multicultural approach, yet not a neutral one, leads the museum to reveal its agenda, becoming “The City’s Museum” for joint cultural creation and initiative.
This is the fifth in a series of papers of a joint project by the Mitvim Institute for Regional Foreign Policies and the Davis Institute for International Relations at Hebrew University examining selected actors’ contribution to the advancement of Israeli-Palestinian peace.