The Voyage of “Coexistence” began in Jerusalem in May 2001 with the support of the patrons of the Museum, the von Holtzbrinck family of Germany . The exhibition was initiated and created by the Museum on the Seam in response to the cycle of violence in the region.
The exhibition was displayed on the walls of the Old City of Jerusalem linking the gates from the Jewish, Christian and Moslem Quarters. The exhibition was opened by the Mayor of Jerusalem.
The exhibition departed from Jerusalem to begin its journey through Europe which currently faces the multitude of complex issues raised by global migration and extremely heterogeneous communities.
Belfast was the first stop on the voyage in Europe . In days of great stress and conflict between religious communities in Northern Ireland , the exhibition was displayed in August 2001 in the plaza in front of Waterfront Hall in the center of the city a short distance from City Hall. The exhibition was hosted by the City of Belfast and Waterfront Hall Performance Center .
“Coexistence” than traveled to Luxembourg to the center of the city in Place Guillaume facing the City Hall Building and the Palace. The exhibition was hosted by the city of Luxembourg under the patronage of the Mayor who emphasized at the opening ceremonies the central importance of this message for the people of Luxembourg who live in a particularly multicultural city. It was sponsored by the Musee d'Histoire de la ville de Luxembourg and the Museum of Modern Art.
In October of 2003 the exhibition reached Sarajevo , a city newly discovering the meaning of coexistence. The exhibition was hosted by the Center for Contemporary Art and the city of Sarajevo . It was held under the patronage of the Mayor, the Minister of Culture of Bosnia Herzogovina, representatives of the United Nations and the local Art Academy . Representatives of the three major religious communities of Sarajevo – Jewish, Christian, Muslim attended the opening ceremony. A most successful poster competition on the theme of coexistence was held by the local Art Academy and the winning poster was added to the large traveling exhibition.
The exhibition reached Berne in April 2002 with the support of a broad coalition that included members of the Swiss National Parliament. It was hosted by the city of Berne under the patronage of the Mayor and with representatives of the Swiss parliament in attendance. The setting of the Munsterplattform was inspirational and the opening took place in the Munster Cathedral in front of a large audience and with a festive concert by the Berne Symphony Orchestra.
The stop of the exhibition in Berlin in June 2002 was particularly meaningful in this once divided city. The exhibition was mounted in the Platz der Republik facing the German Bundestag/Parliament Buildings in the spot where the dividing wall once stood and it was hosted by the President of the Bundestag and the Mayor of Berlin. Through the sponsorship of the Dresdner Bank many activities on the theme of coexistence took place in conjunction with the exhibition including: Coexistence Day for schoolchildren, Coexistence parade of cultures, collaboration with the Berlin Film Festival, panel discussions on coexistence sponsored by the leading daily newspaper, Der Tagesspiegel, with leading academics and well known writers and thinkers and finally a poster competition in the Berlin Academy of Art .
Copenhagen invited “Coexistence” to spread its message of peaceful understanding in the summer of 2002. The exhibition was mounted in Kongens Nytorv in the center of the city in front of the Opera House and alongside the promenade of the port and brought thousands of visitors to view the giant panels. The exhibition was hosted by the City of Copenhagen .
Following the great success in Berne, the coalition of supporters in Switzerland decided to bring the exhibition to Zurich in September 2002. “Coexistence” was shown along the Lake Promenade and was an amazing site along the water and from all directions in Zurich . The exhibition was hosted by the City of Zurich and held under the patronage of the Mayor. The opening was a festive and moving occasion held in the old City Hall building and attended by Zurich 's most prominent citizens. The Museum on the Seam initiated in cooperation with the local Art Academy a competition among the students for designs on the theme of Coexistence and the winning poster joined the exhibition.
In March 2003 the exhibition traveled to Cape Town where coexistence is a real and meaningful issue for all residents. The exhibition was invited to Cape Town by a coalition of friends who wanted to bring this message to their city. It was shown along the Waterfront next to the Clock Tower where Apartheid prisoners were once taken to Robbin Island . The project inspired many other activities on the theme of coexistence – including work through the Frank Joubert Center with children in the townships who created artwork on the theme. The project was supported by President Nelson Mandela and the exhibition was held under the patronage of Archbishop Desmond Tutu and the Mayor of Cape Town.
Upon returning to Europe the exhibition reached Vienna in June 2003 and was displayed in conjunction with the Vienna Annual Film Festival held outside in the beautiful old building of the Town Hall Square . It was an exciting event that combined two very special occasions for the city of Vienna . The exhibition was hosted by the City of Vienna , held under the patronage of the Mayor and sponsored by friends of Israel and Jerusalem in Vienna . The Art Academy competition produced wonderful results and the winning poster was added to the large traveling exhibition.
In July the exhibition journeyed to Prague and was displayed in the Old Town Square next to the famous Clock Tower under the patronage of the Mayor of Prague. The opening took place inside the historical Clock Tower building. The exhibition was a stunning event filling the Town Square with thousands of visitors to Prague and to the exhibition and also included a competition among students of the local Art Academy .
In August 2003 the exhibition reached Amsterdam through the generous support and sponsorship of the Doen Foundation. The exhibition was displayed in Museumsplein between the Van Gogh Museum and the Rijks Museum in conjunction with the annual Culture Festival and was an unparalleled success. “Coexistence” was hosted by the City of Amsterdam under the patronage of the Mayor and the opening ceremony was attended by many honored guests including foreign dignitaries.
The exhibition reached the shores of America in November 2003 and began its tour of the United States in Miami . “Coexistence” was welcomed by the Mayor and opened the annual international book fair together with writer, Maya Angelou. The wonderful and heterogeneous city of Miami embraced the message of coexistence and brought hundreds of visitors to the exhibition in the univercity campus everyday.
Over the next months of 2003 and throughout 2004 the exhibition traveled through the United States from South Florida all the way to Minneapolis and back across to Washington D.C. where “Coexistence” was displayed at the Capital Reflecting Pool facing the Senate Buildings. Present at the opening ceremony were Senators, Congressmen and Ambassadors from a number of countries.
The exhibition reached Tucson, Arizona in February of 2005 and was hosted by the University of Arizona together with a broad coalition of community support. The exhibition was opened by the President of the University and the Dean of Students and over 2500 people attended the event which included different cultural and folklore performances. In Tucson student activities were a large part of the impact of the exhibition together with numerous school workshops. A local competition was held and the image awarded first place, joined the ongoing journey of "Coexistence".
In March 2005 the exhibition arrived in Austin and was displayed on the lake front facing the beautiful water and impressive city skyline. Hosted by the Mayor of Austin and Ballet Austin the exhibition was welcomed into the city with a great outpouring of activities for all ages and a moving performance by Ballet Austin inspired by coexistence.
Houston welcomed exhibition "Coexistence" in April 2005 to the center of the city facing City Hall. The exhibition was hosted by the city of Houston and the Houston Holocaust Museum. Various educational activities took place for all ages throughout the exhibition's display and created a great impact on the local community. Guided tours of the exhibition were conducted on site and creativity workshops were held with the giant image panels in the background. Inter-faith meetings were held in the presence of the Mayor and with dozens of leading representatives of the different faiths in the Houston community. A local competition was held that produced an image chosen to represent the community in the continuing journey of "Coexistence".
The exhibition was invited to Auckland, New Zealand, in February 2006 and was welcomed with a tremendous opening event attended by the Mayor and many representatives from the community. The traditional Maori welcoming ceremony was held in the central square beside the new central station and for the entire stay in the city, the site of the exhibition was full of activities, street performances and community gatherings. The city of Auckland organized an art competition that had over 200 entries and the winning design was awarded in the presence of the mayor
Many cities across the globe are expressing interest in "Coexistence" and contacts are ongoing to continue the journey to other parts of the world, including areas where this message is so necessary but resources are so limited.
The Museum on the Seam hopes and believes that with the help of friends around the world who share our vision, we will succeed with our goal.
Auckland, New Zealand
San Paulo, Brazil