Music Is Society: Designing the West-Eastern Divan Institute

'Music Is Society' presents documentation of the 2012 pilot program
for the West-Eastern Divan Institute, a site which will engage creative
minds through the integration of a world-class musical training with a
broader education in history, politics, ethics, and peace studies. The
Berlin (Germany) institute will complement the world-renowned
West-Eastern Divan Orchestra and the music schools in Israel and
Palestine, projects envisioned and created by Maestro Daniel Barenboim
and Dr. Edward Said.



Questions facing the designers include:

  • How to successfully integrate music and general education without compromising the acquired-skills of the musicians.
  • How to acknowledge and cultivate multiple points of view without obscuring historical and contemporary political realities.
  • How to create an innovative, permanent, self-sustaining institution out of educational theory and public interest.
  • How
    to officially address the Israel-Palestinian conflict. How to question
    the occupation of Palestinian land, including settlements and the
    up-and-coming arrogation of Area C, in a culture which feels deeply
    responsible for the Holocaust.
  • How to make the case for the Humanities in a recession-weary world.

Many thanks to Professor Michael Steinberg and the Cogut Center for the Humanities.