Jaffa’s Arab-Hebrew Theater to hand annual award, dubbed “prize-titution,” for best satirical work in arts to encourage biting satire. Organizers: Need to deal with hard times through scathing humor
The Arab-Hebrew Theater in Jaffa has announced its plan to hand an annual award for the best satirical work in the arts. The award was dubbed “prize-titution” (“prastitutzia”), a term coined by Israeli poet Avraham Shlonsky intended to mock the eagerness of literary folk for prizes.
Its official launch ceremony will take place on March 1, as Israel’s best satirical works from the theater, press, television and more will be put on display.
The joint venture by Jaffa’s Arab-Hebrew Theater Director Yaakov Agmon and his Arts Director Igal Ezraty, promises to award the winner with NIS 10,000 ($2,691). The award committee members for 2012 include: Yaakov Agmon, Playwright and director Michael Gurevitch, television director Yoav Tzafir, director Yitzchak Shauli, actor Norman Issa and dance critic, and journalist and writer Gaby Aldor.
“The name (of the award) is only a declaration of intent and in no way meant to belittle the status of the award. We wanted to remind people that satire must take itself seriously but also ironically,” the organizers explained.
“The ground is burning. The papers remind us of that every morning, and the theater – especially one like ours which has acted under the banner of cultural dialogue between Arabs and Jews – must ask itself how it plans to fulfill its cultural duty. When the ground is burning, and the fringe burns in synergy – our small actions, we hope, have an impact,” Ezraty explained.
“The decision to launch the award is political and artistic in its nature and derives from the need to deal with the challenges of our times through scathing humor. This humor not only helps in accepting criticism and making the pill easy to swallow, but also sheds optimism on the diseases of our times… it’s a modest act which we hope will encourage cultural performances which won’t turn to escapism.”
Many of Israel’s actors and satirists are expected to make an appearance at the event and get a chance to pick their favorite satirical moments. Amongst those invited will be famous author, playwright and satirist Ephraim Sidon, renowned photojournalist Alex Levac, actor and comedian Uri Gottlieb, actress Einat Weizman and Avi Dangur, better known as “Avi the singer.”