Archive Transformed has an inspiration as unique as the project itself: Lin Jaldati, a Jewish communist cabaret performer from 1930s Amsterdam.
David Shneer, the Louis Singer Chair in Jewish History, found Jaldati’s personal archive in Berlin and resurrected the Holocaust survivor’s work with his multimedia project Art is My Weapon.
Archive Transformed reimagines historical academia by teaming scholars with artists. The first cohort analyzed Soviet Jewish music leading up to World War II and immigrants’ influence in the legacy of Kentucky bourbon. Gesel Mason collaborated with 10 choreographers to portray the African-American experience with dances from the 1940s to today.
Artists from the 2018 cohort say the project has given them inspiration for years of new works. Shneer says the interdisciplinary project will be an annual residency.