Media Mention: Shahar Golan Interviews with Kol Israel Radio

I was interviewed for the Voice of Israel English News on REKA radio in light of the new Cellcom TV ad. If you are unfamiliar with the ad you might want to check it out first:
httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=210H8wavqbc

Now here is my interview with journalist Idele Ross, as aired earlier today. Unfortunately the interview was cut short by breaking news just as I finishing making my point. Oh well… Fortunately, the interview was broadcast a second time, this time in its entirety:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Transcript

Newscaster Naomi Segal: […] You are tuned to Kol Yisrael, The Voice of Israel, broadcasting from Jerusalem. This week even the New York Times reported on the controversial Israeli television commercial for a cell phone company which shows Israeli soldiers and unseen Palestinians playing soccer over the security fence. Bloggers have been discussing the pros and cons of the commercial which carries the tagline “What do we all want? Some fun, that’s all”. Website designer and digital artist Shahar Golan blogs regularly about the culture of advertising in Israel. He spoke to reporter Idele Ross.

Shahar Golan: Usually when I look at an ad that amazes me at how either politically incorrect or just crass it is, I usually imagine, you know, like an 18 or 20 year old Israeli copywriter thinking about it and for some reason the process never stops at “Okay, that was a nice idea, let’s think deeper, let’s go further” and usually, in my mind at least, it seems like Israelis are making jokes and putting them into ads that really don’t make the cut.

Idele Ross: So why blog about this in English on the Internet? Wouldn’t you be more effective if you were, I don’t know, blogging about it in Hebrew?

Shahar Golan: Yeah, well… My niche is basically writing in English about popular culture and also I blog about Israeli stuff but since I see my audience as the entire world, I just can’t constrain myself into writing in Hebrew which has a definite number of people who can understand it. I write in English and hope that the world reads it and Israelis would make an effort to read it.

Idele Ross: So, among your most recent entries is “Top 10 Most Offensive Israeli Ads – Part 1“, “Top 10 Most Offensive Israeli Ads – Part 2“. Now, based on what’s out there, who’s reading and what kind of responses or talkbacks are you getting?

Shahar Golan: I usually see what people are searching for and basically people are interested in what offends people, either as research or, you know, they’ve seen something that was just so out there that they wanted to share and see who’s been talking about it and that’s how many people come to and find my blog. In the post that you mentioned, basically, I write down about politically incorrect or ads that were made hoping that no one outside Israel would see them. There’s an ad, for instance, for the cable company, HOT, that uses the Vietnam war in a very elaborate musical kinda way but was a bit too much in my opinion, assuming someone will, from the outside world, from the US or from Vietnam, would see it makes light of it just to entertain Israelis and sell a couple of cable subscriptions and that was a bit too much in my opinion.

Idele Ross: Will you be highlighting the most recent, somewhat controversial, Cellcom ad?

Shahar Golan: Right… I’ve been thinking about it, and thinking what I’m thinking about it and what’s my opinion, because basically the ad itself is rather cute, let me say, and that’s what’s rather annoying about it. You know, as Israelis we’re all soldiers at one point or another, and we like our soldiers, so when you’re seeing a couple of soldiers playing soccer in a cutesy kinda way it’s rather nice, but this has further political implications that I’m not sure either the ad company McCann Erickson thought about or the advertiser Cellcom had thought about because this basically moves them into the political conversation and I’m not sure that they want to find themselves there. The ad can be construed as rather controversial, because you see soldiers basically playing over the security fence, the Israeli barrier, but you don’t see their counterparts, you don’t see the Palestinians who are allegedly playing soccer with them, and it’s a convenient way for the company to say, you know, “We are connecting people, we are in communication”, and how easily it is to connect, to move beyond the obstacles, but basically since “the other” is faceless it’s rather crass and a very strange step for the company to engage in this political discussion that probably has no business within the business world.

Newscaster Naomi Segal: Blogger Shahar Golan. The weather outlook for tomorrow through Tuesday…

Update: I have just noticed I was mistaken and the Vietnam war ad I mentioned during the interview was not for Israeli cable television provider HOT, but for Israeli satellite television provider YES. Apparently, aside from leaving a bad aftertaste, the ad was unsuccessful in ‘branding’ me with their product. HOT, YES, it’s all a blur…

Hagigit Ends the Summer with A Blast at the Jerusalem Theatre

[singlepic id=95 w=300 h=400 float=right]Hagigit, the artists collective I co-founded, was invited to participate in the End of Summer events by the Jerusalem Theatre. We spent the last few weeks in preparation for the three day event, our biggest event to date both logistically and in terms of crowd participation. We set up our famous outdoors studio, packed it with theatre-related props, set up a work station consisting of 6 laptop computers, 2 photo printers, a wireless router, and one strategically placed electric fan.

The whole shebang worked like so: people could play dress up and don outrageous costumes, three Hagigit members staged the studio scenes and photographed them, another member was in charge of downloading the photos and distributing them using our wireless network. Most of the photos were instantly printed by another member, and a few were manipulated using Photoshop by two other Hagigit members.
Myself? I was in charge of hooking up to the jumbotron, displaying the photos taken and playing the Photoshop screen-captures, to the amusement of the crowd.

Here is a short movie consisting of photos taken at the studio:

And here is an example of the sort of Photoshop work that was done in real time, played here at 8 times the original speed:

…oh, and we got mentioned here and here.

News Wires Cover Obama’s Israel Visit …And My Hebrew Poster

Cast thy bread upon the waters, for thou shalt find it after many days.

        – – Ecclesiastes 11:1

While I knew that the Hebrew Obama poster I designed has been viewed thousands of times, I could not tell if the high resolution files I made available were ever printed and used in a rally. Until yesterday:

All the major news wires covering Barack Obama’s Israeli visit, including The New York Times and The Associated Press – all mentioned a group of Israeli supporters holding a ‘Change We Can Believe In’ Hebrew banner. This sounded really nice, but when I started seeing photos taken by the various wires, I got really excited. A couple of hours later, I got an email from a group called Israelis for Obama, updating me on their usage of my graphics. They downloaded the design off my website and printed out loads of flyers and one big banner. Then they followed Obama’s visit route, showing support all over Jerusalem.

Here are a few photos I found:

  A supporter of US Democratic presidential candidate Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) stands outside his hotel in Jerusalem July 22, 2008.
A supporter of US Democratic presidential candidate Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) stands outside his hotel in Jerusalem July 22, 2008.
REUTERS/Jim Young
Supporters of US Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama hold a banner reading in Hebrew 'change in which we can believe' as they gather in front of Israeli President Shimon Peres' residence where Obama and Peres are meeting on July 23, 2008 in Jerusalem.
Supporters of US Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama hold a banner reading in Hebrew ‘change in which we can believe’ as they gather in front of Israeli President Shimon Peres’ residence where Obama and Peres are meeting on July 23, 2008 in Jerusalem. Obama started his visit to Israel and the West Bank during which he will meet with Israeli and Palestinian leaders.
PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images
  Supporters of US Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama hold a banner reading in Hebrew 'change in which we can believe' as they gather in front of Israeli President Shimon Peres' residence where Obama and Peres are meeting on July 23, 2008 in Jerusalem.
Road Blog: Israel, the Day in Pictures – July 23, 2008
Obama for America Campaign Headquarters
Supporters of U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) hold a banner printed with his name in Hebrew as they wait for his arrival at the Western wall in Jerusalem July 23, 2008.
Supporters of U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) hold a banner printed with his name in Hebrew as they wait for his arrival at the Western wall in Jerusalem July 23, 2008.
REUTERS/Baz Ratner

Media Mention: Shahar Golan Interviews with Haaretz Newspaper

I was interviewed for an article that was published today in the English edition of Haaretz newspaper, in regards to the 2008 US presidential election. Here are the relevant last two paragraphs:

As the U.S. presidential race reaches Israel, Hebrew-language campaigners try to choose words wisely

By Raphael Ahren

[…]

Some political items are created by people who can’t even vote in the United States. Obama supporter Shahar Golan, of Rehovot, crafted a poster with the Hebrew translation of the slogan “Change we can believe in.” After a smear campaign tried denouncing the Illinois senator as a Muslim, Golan felt he had to publicly declare his support for “Baruch Obama,” as he calls him. “As a born and bred Israeli, my interest in the U.S. elections is mainly because American presidents tend to influence the entire world,” the 31-year-old photographer and graphic designer said.” And since I cannot vote myself I create graphics that hopefully might call attention to a candidate worth voting for.” Currently, Golan is working on a new poster featuring a Hebrew version of Obama’s “Yes we can” slogan.

Golan knows that translations can be tricky. On his blog, he elaborated on his choice of words. “Translating ‘Change we can believe in’ proved to be somewhat of a challenge,” he muses, “as the Hebrew word for ‘we can’ (nuchal) is the exact one for ‘crook’ (nochel).” Not wanting to repeat past mistakes, he added that “even a hint of such subliminal connections can be bad.”

[singlepic id=88 w=500 h=292 float=center]
Click image for higher resolution

Love In The Tub: Jerusalemite.net Discusses Hagigit


Jerusalemite.net

Hagigit, the Jerusalem artists’ cooperative I co-founded, got some attention today in the form of an interview:
Jerusalemite.net, the self-proclaimed ‘definitive English-language culture guide to the center of the world’ published today an interview with Guy Yitzhaki, a fellow co-founder of our little art group. In the interview Guy discusses the goals of our group and elaborates on our most recent activity. Check it out!

Radio Interview About ‘Almost Finished’ – A Book by Shahar Golan

Shahar Golan - Almost FinishedI was invited by Israel’s Channel A radio to be a guest on the program Writing for the Drawer hosted by Rona Gershon. It is an hour-long one-on-one chat following the recent publishing of my book named Almost Finished. The original broadcast date was Wednesday, September 5, 2007 – 13:05 (repeated Saturday September 15, 2007 – 18:05).

Get a copy of my book: Listen to the recorded interview:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Music that was played during the show:
Artist Song Album
Dori Adar Irrelevant Answer Jewish Delights
Pink Martini The Gardens of Sampson & Beasley Hang on Little Tomato
Yafit Reuveny Sweet Night Blindness Sweet Night Blindness
 
Texts that were read on the air:
[singlepic id=201 w=170 h=230 float=center] [singlepic id=200 w=170 h=230 float=center]
[singlepic id=198 w=170 h=230 float=center] [singlepic id=199 w=170 h=230 float=center] [singlepic id=202 w=170 h=230 float=center]