thalia hoffman film art

Permanent Resident

Participants: Maria De Pina, Yvonne Deutsch, Yuli Novak, Tatiana Hoffman (text by: Avital Barak)

The video work joins five women for whom the political space is deeply ingrained in their professional life: Tatiana Hoffman, Maria De Pina, Yvonne Deutsch, Yuli Novak, and Thalia Hoffman herself. Each woman has complex relations with her place of residence and with the activist act.

Tatiana Hoffman, journalist, television reporter and radio host, and the artist’s mother. Born in Czechoslovakia, she was forced to leave in a dramatic political moment and found herself in somewhat of an exile in Israel. Being forced to leave disconnected her political activism from its foundation. In 2016 Tatiana died suddenly. Her story is the point of departure that triggers the conversation and the project’s bedrock.

Yuli Novak, a lawyer by profession and an activist, was the director of the Breaking the Silence Organization from 2012-2017, a period in which the organisation suffered intense, violent aggression from Rightist organisations, politicians and the press. These years led Novak to embark on a journey during which she formed deep ties in South Africa, where she documented herself in a travel journal of sorts.

Yvonne Deutsch is a seasoned activist. She is among the founders of the feminist protest and peace movement during the First Intifada – Women in Black and the Women and Peace coalition; among the founders of Woman’s Voice in Jerusalem in the 1990s; a psychotherapist; social worker guide at the Center for the African Community in Jerusalem and at the LGBT open house.

Maria De Pina is a radio professional, art producer, mythological teacher of spoken Arabic and Haifa resident.

Yuli, Yvonne and Maria read texts written by Tatiana, interpret them and react to them on the basis of their experiences and life. Through the act of editing Hoffman creates a conversation in which she herself participates. The vocal collage creates a scattered shared space, where it is at times unclear who the speaker is and to whom the words or experiences belong.

The conversation evokes questions on activism despite a sense of alienation and considers the possibility of acting in a place that is not perceived as home. It ponders on a sense of belonging to a political community and of leaving it, or sobering up from it, and its battle. Questions about exile and choice channel through the different perspectives of the four women. In the background hovers the choice of the artist herself to live, act, raise a family and take an active part in a political struggle yet not to commit to it totally.


Autobiographical text: Tatiana Hoffman

Photography: Neta Moses, Asaf Shiran, Yael Harari and Thalia Hoffman

Editing: Thalia Hoffman, Neta Moses

Sound editing: Ohad Stemati

Arabic translation: Hadeel Abu Juhar

English translation: Jonathan Orr-Stav

Translation production: capNsub

Design: Studio Lee and Tamar

Archive materials: Neta Moses, Maria De Pina, Yvonne Deutsch, Ha-ambatia - Language School, Kan-Channel 33

Acknowledgements: Yael Messer, Lea Mauas, Avital Barak, Ayelet Albenda, Anat Even, Sharon Poliakine, Gal Dvir, Yair Vardi, Ofri Omer