2017 > AWNM: semitic AF

All photos are taken by the incredible Georgette Maniatis

A Whole New Megillah is an annual party series that occupies the Jewish holiday of Purim. Semitic AF 2017 was co-curated by composer and musician Julie Hill, featured musicians Utsav Lal on piano, Eli Cohen on drums, and Devon Hurt on bass, and took place at Space Heater Gallery in Bushwick.

AWNM: Semitic AF co-opts the story and rituals of Purim with American secular practices and politics to highlight power structures that continue to repeat themselves throughout religious and non-religious histories. Since biblical times, leaders have often exploited people’s fear of the unfamiliar to categorize, dehumanize, and unify one group against another.

Semitic AF flips that division on its head by replacing the victimized Jews of Persia accounted in the Purim story, with the persecuted Muslims living in today’s highly xenophobic America and Europe.

Set in the apocalyptic year of 2017, Semitic AF reinterprets and expands the tropes and conventions of Purim by telling the story through live music, games, PRIZES! and interactive performances and installations.

A Whole New Megillah, Semitic AF was a one night only event with performances occurring throughout the night.