The Museum on the Seam is exactly what it sounds like, residing on the border of East and West Jerusalem that many consider to be the invisible rift within the city, yet this socio-political art space hopes to serve as a bridge instead of a band-aid.
Established in 1999, and operating since 2005 the museum is housed in a property that itself has a long history of being torn between Jerusalem’s opposing forces. Built in 1932, the building was used as an Israeli military outpost right on the border when the city was officially divided. During the six-day war of 1967 the building was damaged by bomb and bullet strikes, taking out a large chunk of a balcony that has been left damaged as reminder of the conflicts. As the city began reunification following the fighting, the site became host to a semi-permanent exhibition devoted to encouraging peace between the people of the region.
The museum that currently inhabits the space continues to devote itself to messages of unification and healing. A number of exhibitions have taken place at the space focusing on themes such as human rights, protest, and national anxiety. The museum believes that art can act as a unifying language transcending borders, religions, and conflicts and can provide a medium unlike any other in which the often opposed citizens can create meaningful conversation.
If things go their way, and their message of unification takes root, the Museum on the Seam may one day simply be named, “The Museum.”