This paper examines cultural initiatives developed during the pandemic lockdowns and restrictions in the Old City of Beer Sheva between March and October 2020. Based on critical ethnographic fieldwork, the study focuses on three initiatives spontaneously mounted during the lockdowns: reading theater, staged photography, and pop-up culinary events. Semiotic analysis is used to analyze the ethnographic data, with the goal of identifying and analyzing implicit and explicit characteristics and meanings. The denotative analysis shows that the initiatives were developed as small-scale, pastiche-like entertaining simulations of cultural practices that had disappeared from the public sphere: the museum experience, the theater experience, and the dining out experience. The connotative analysis illuminates how critical messages were inscribed and performed by the cultural agents. The study concludes with theoretical and applied insights on the lockdowns’ effects on cultural production and consumption in late capitalism.
|Translated title of the contribution||Cultural Production during the Pandemic: A Critical Ethnography of Simulative Leisure|
|Number of pages||29|
|Journal||מבטים : כתב עת לתרבות חזותית|
|State||Published - 2023|