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Poster for public performance, 2018, designed by Gila Kaplan and Avi Bohbot
Poster for public performance, 2018, designed by Gila Kaplan and Avi Bohbot

Bury Our Weapons, Not Our Bodies!

Saturday, September 22
2:00 p.m.: Performance begins at Independence National Historical Park
4:00 p.m.: Performance resumes outside the Museum’s West Entrance (Anne d’Harnoncourt Drive, Philadelphia, PA 19130)

A symbolic burial and call to action

Conceived by Yael Bartana, this public performance challenges systems of violence and displacement through a symbolic burial and a call to action. Forming a “living monument” to the end of violence, this performance includes a public procession, a burial of weapons (both literal and metaphorical), and a series of eulogies about war, peace, and democracy. Bringing together funerary tradition, military ritual, and personal testimony, Bury Our Weapons, Not Our Bodies! deepens the artist’s investigations of memory and national identity.

The performance is inspired by the work of Israeli dance composer Noa Eshkol (1924–2007). More specifically, it evokes Eshkol’s 1953 assembly performance at Kibbutz Lohamei HaGeta'ot (the Ghetto Fighters’ Kibbutz), commissioned in memorial to the tenth anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. The movements are composed by Mor Bashan and Ruti Sela of the Noa Eshkol Chamber Dance Group.

The performance starts with a public procession from Washington Square Park to Independence National Historical Park, where visitors will witness a dance movement and collective eulogy. Travel to the Museum for the second and final portion of the performance, which includes a dance movement and ceremonial burial.

Get Involved

We welcome individuals, collectives, and organizations with an interest in the subjects of this performance to join us in the public procession. Ideally, participants are available for a dress rehearsal on Friday, September 21, and the performance on Saturday, September 22. For more information, please contact us at

This public performance is offered in conjunction with the exhibition Yael Bartana: And Europe Will Be Stunned.

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