The Mute | Hilla Ben Ari

The Mute pays homage to Amalia Kahana-Carmon (born 1926), a pioneer in Hebrew literature, and her traveling female protagonists. Known for her writings on spatial violence against women, her writings are saturated with depictions of women’s economic, mental, and physical vulnerability, a result of their forced confinement in marginal settings, as if they were guests in a world owned by men. In The Mute, Ben Ari explores the vulnerability associated with the female body, notions of spatial and metaphorical limitations, and the body’s movement within the limits. Kahana-Carmon’s recurring use of travel as a central motif counters the limited spaces she refers to; her characters move from place to place, however their journey is seldom in their own hands. The stories authored by Kahana-Carmon range from distant European landscapes to the concrete Israeli existence often compare violence against women to violence against minorities, as well as violent control over animals and nature.

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