Extended: Applications for LABA 2024 are now open
Drumroll please… or maybe, more appropriate – a whisper. we’re excited to announce that the next LABA theme is NIGHT.
NIGHT, in the Jewish imagination, is both a matter of time and a state of mind.
Our days begin at night, the arrival of three stars is our first sign of tomorrow. Our calendar is lunar, our months and years obsessively coordinated with the waxing and waning of the moon. Our festivals are backlit by the orb at its fullest.
Night is more than a time marker, however. It is also a paradoxical psychological state, when urges too messy, too irrational, and too wild for the day emerge, whether through dreams or behaviors or habits or the thoughts that only voice themselves at 3 am. Night is obscurity, but it is also clarity. Night is freedom, but it is also sometimes cruelty. Only in darkness can some truths be revealed. The cosmos began with night, and from night the very atoms humming our bodies came. We can never know ourselves fully, as a person or a people, without a deep understanding of night.
This year at LABA we will explore the theme of NIGHT in the ancient Jewish canon. We will look at how and why NIGHT anchors us, liberates us, terrifies us through a study of evocative stories from the Torah, Talmud, Mishnah, Zohar and more. We will consider the role of NIGHT in the life of culture-makers, and the ways in which culture-makers are the “NIGHTS” of people — truth-tellers, tricksters, beauty-makers, and deep sea subconscious divers. Most importantly, we’ll have a great time talking, eating, drinking, learning, and laughing in the lush, fertile, free-flowing, romantic, super-serious, and endlessly playful environment of LABA: A Laboratory for Jewish Culture.
We invite you to point your flashlight towards uncharted territories–places you might cherish, wish to destroy, or both– and propose new work inspired by what night brings up in you. All mediums accepted, and the strange and unconventional are always welcome.
Click here to apply, applications are now open through October 31