Shatil Spotlight: David Chaim Saidov
As someone who believes deeply in justice and fighting racism, David Chaim Saidov was a perfect candidate for Shatil’s “Lowering the Walls” anti-racism training. The program teaches Jerusalemites who are in positions of influence about racism and how to combat it.
“I was very concerned about racism in Jerusalem,” says Saidov who grew up in a family of religious Bukharian immigrants in Kiryat Malachi. “It is all around us, we live in it, we are part of it. I experience it at work, with friends, in the family. My awareness of this was growing from day to day, but I had no tools to deal with it.
When Saidov was a child, he would record popular music from the radio and speak into the tape recorder, pretending to be a DJ. Today, after a stint as an editor, producer and host at Radio Jerusalem, he is the artistic director and production manager at the famed Jerusalem club, the Yellow Submarine.
“Tens of thousands of people come through the Yellow Submarine,” says Saidov. “The musicians who perform there have a lot of power and influence. People know the words to their songs by heart. So I thought, how can we harness this power to fight racism?”
During Shatil’s training, Saidov partnered up with Racism Crisis Center Director, Tzachi Mezuman and a designer at the Dov Abramson Studio to create an anti-racist poster exhibit called “In My Dream.” The project recruited many artists and the 11 resulting posters were eventually featured at an art festival.
In the next phase of the project, to be displayed at the Yellow Submarine, Saidov wants to incorporate interactive elements that will give people tools to deal with racism in their own lives.
“Lowering the Walls, was a place where I could learn about racism and understand how I can repair it in my own private world first, and then maybe influence others,” says Saidov.
“I believe we are here to do tikkun olam (to repair the world), even on a small level in our own environment – and Lowering the Walls gave me a way to do it … Shatil does holy work.”