Bringing the Dead Sea to Life

Juan Varela Simó, Barbary falcon, Jordan

Bernd Pöppelmann, Rubish dump

Ad van Liempt, Dead sea cliffs

Debby Kaspari, Wadi in Jordan

John Foker, Hoopoe sweeping through

Nik Derry, desert fox and sink holes

Rosanne Guille, Tristram’s grackle and sink holes

Bearded Vulture over Masada, Martin Rinik - Slovakia

Satellite photo of the Middle East (Courtesy of: NASA)

Satellite photo of the Dead Sea (Courtesy of: NASA)

Paul Winter - famous musician plays solo on the shore of the Dead Sea

Artists Brin Edwards painting the Dead Sea

Journalist Renate Zöller, makes an interview with professor Yossi Leshem, organizer of the Dead Sea project

Environmental Education in Israel (Bruce Pearson)

Environmental education in Jordan (Ysbrand Brouwers)

Book Offer

A new book of our latest project is now available!

Bringing the Dead Sea to Life

Art and Nature at the Lowest Place on Earth

230 pages, full colour illustrations by 18 international wildlife & landscape artists.
By the authors Hadas Marcus and Yossi Leshem.

€49,50 excluding postage and packing.

Collect this book at our upcoming exhibition with the same name.
November 1 - 3 De oude School in Kortenhoef
Kortenhoefsedijk 145 1241 LX Kortenhoef, The Netherlands

Open: Friday - Saturday 11.00 - 19.00 Sunday 11.00 - 17.00

Bringing the Dead Sea to Life

Bringing the Dead Sea to Life
Through Art and Music

A Jordanian, Palestinian and Israeli Initiative

16-27 March 2017

Blog: Bringing the Dead Sea to Life

Keep an eye on our daily blog!
In the following two weeks we will give you a lot of interesting information.

The Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel (SPNI), the Hoopoe Foundation and Tel Aviv University together with the Amman Center for Peace and Development (ACPD, Jordan), Universite' de Lausanne (UNIL, Switzerland) and the international Artists For Nature Foundation (ANF) are planning a bold new project to raise global awareness to the plight of the Dead Sea. The Dead Sea is one of the most unique geographic formations in the world, supporting unique ecosystems and harboring historic and cultural treasures. The long-term decline of the water level is creating an ecological imbalance on both land and sea that will eventually destroy this unique and precious resource. The culture of environmental artists and nature lovers provides a unique, non-political platform for people of this war-torn region to connect to their natural environment and to one another.
Nature art is extremely popular in Western Countries and a part of its cultural heritage for centuries; whereas in the Middle East, nature and wildlife art are not well known. The ANF is an excellent example of an NGO that brings together renowned artists from all over the world to help save "endangered" places.

SPNI and ANF recently completed a similar project to raise awareness for the Hula Valley in Israel (2008-2013) that included 36 artists from around the world, two week-long festivals, a full color art book detailing the project in English, Hebrew and Arabic, and a travelling art exhibition at 7 locations in Israel, Netherlands and the UK. The project was an enormous success, with over 20,000 people participating in the festival events, another estimated 20,000 people that visited the art exhibitions and the Hula Book has nearly sold out the 2000 copies.

Specific goals of this project include:

  • To draw broad public attention to the importance of the Dead Sea environment, nature conservation,and cultural landscapes through art.
  • To focus the creative efforts of International and regional artists on the importance of preserving our shared natural heritage.
  • To create a unique dialogue and exchange of cultures between artists, conservationists and the general public from different countries around the world with a special emphasis on the inhabitants around the Dead Sea from Jordan, Palestine and Israel.

The project will draw much needed focus on tourism and the environment to the Dead Sea and to the region as a whole through the universal interest in art and nature. With art and nature as the main themes, the project will emphasize peace through cultural meetings based on cooperation, dialogue and unity, and will help balance the negative images of the region.

Art and nature are excellent focal points for bringing people together and creating a sustainable future. Eco-tourism, nature painting, photography and bird watching can form an important economic base for the region. Through our wildlife and bird conservation efforts, the project organizations are creating a healthier environment benefiting the entire bio and cultural diversity of the region. Much of the dialogue surrounding environmental issues is based on dry scientific facts. In contrast, art has the ability to break through barriers of the mind and work at the level of the heart and soul.

In a world where natural habitats and conservation are in a constant battle with development and environmentally disastrous governmental policies on the national and regional levels, raising public
awareness is crucial for protecting the natural and diverse ecosystems.


Fifteen internationally-renowned wildlife and nature artists will visit the Dead Sea for ten days and work with Jordanian, Palestinian and Israeli artists (total of 25 artists) in public events that will draw in local visitors. The artists will spend each day in the open landscapes of the Dead Sea drawing and painting. In addition, there will be tours, lectures and workshops for students, artists and the general public. The ten day long festival will take place at different areas within each country: Ein Gedi, Israel; Jericho, Palestinian Territories; and Wadi Mujib, Jordan and a special trip to Aqaba, Eilat and Jerusalem. The festival will culminate in an exhibition of their work that will form the basis of a travelling exhibition and a full color art book of the project.

Preliminary list of artists that plan to join us include:

  • Farid Abu Shakra, Israel, Palestine
  • Amir Balaban, Israel
  • Zev Labinger, Israel
  • Bruce Pearson, Scotland
  • Juan Varela, Spain
  • Debby Kaspari, USA
  • Laurent Willenegger, Switzerland
  • Bernd Pöppelmann, Germany
  • James Coe, USA Nick Derry, France
  • Ad van Liempt, Netherlands
  • John Foker, UK
  • Brin Edwards, UK
  • Anna Kirk Smith, Wales
  • Anne Shingleton, Italy
  • Esther Tyson, UK
  • Quentin Budworth, Wales
  • Rosanne Guille, Isle of Sark
  • Renate Zöller, Germany


Paul Winter, the world-renowned musician, composer and performer will also be joining us. Paul uses his work to highlight unknown cultures, and promote environmental conservation. A pioneer of world music, Paul has won 7 Grammy Awards for his unique genre of “earth music,” which interweaves the voices of the greater symphony of the wild with instrumental voices from classical, jazz and indigenous traditions of the world, introducing people to the variety of species and ecosystems on Earth through the beauty of sound. The music is often improvised, and recorded in natural acoustic spaces, to reflect the qualities and instincts brought into play by the environment.

With his various ensembles, Paul has toured the world, performing over 3,000 concerts in 52 countries. In recognition of musical and ecological work, he has received a Global 500 Award from the United Nations, Joseph Wood Krutch Medal from the United States Humane Society, the Peace Abbey’s Courage of Conscience Award, the Spirit of the City Award presented at New York’s Cathedral of St John the Divine, and an honorary Doctorate of Music from the University of Hartford.

Paul will perform with a group of four international musicians at the opening celebration at the beautiful and historic YMCA concert hall in Jerusalem. The concert will premiere new pieces based on some of the most unique and magical bird songs from Africa, Middle East and Central Asian, and on Paul’s unique composition Flyways that celebrates the great bird migration between Africa and
Eurasia along the Great Rift Valley that includes the Dead Sea. In addition to stage decorations, lighting and sound equipment, the stage will be fitted with 4 to 6 screens, which will be showing musicians, birds, landscapes, etc


Festival Organization

SPNI, ANF, ACPD and PWLS will organize and implement the festival with the help of supporters and subcontractors. This will include a part-time Festival Coordinator and administrative assistant. Activities during the festival will include a variety of nature art workshops, tours that will visit artists on site, lectures and discussion groups about art and conservation, artistic dialogue and artistic cooperation programs and more.

Creating Website

Web pages will be created for the official websites of the organizing NGOs.


The marketing plan will include advertising, media reports and printed materials. Art Project Book and exhibition- At the end of the festival, the project coordinators will prepare a highqualityart book and a series of exhibitions of the finest artworks created during the festival both in the region and abroad. The book will tell the story of the Dead Sea and the project saturated throughout with art-quality reproductions of the artworks.


Environmental education activities will include art workshops for children and students, a young talent support initiative as well as guided excursions for children and teachers.


We recently received partial funding from a foundation and are currently approaching a variety of potential partners such as Canadian Regional Embassies, Mr. Shimon Peres (past president of Israel) and the Peres Foundation for Peace and Development, Regional Councils such as Tamar Regional Council (Israeli side of the Dead Sea) and Ministries of Culture, Tourism and the Environment.

Due to the great success of our first project at the Hula Valley (the 14th such project by the ANF), we are certain that other stakeholders, such as local municipalities, European Embassies and businesses will be interested in supporting this initiative.

To help support this event please contact:

Yossi Leshem

Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel and Tel Aviv University
George S. Wise Faculty of Life
Sciences, Department of Zoology
Ramat Aviv, Tel Aviv 69978, Israel.
Telefax +972-3-6406010,
Tel: +972-3-6407963
Cell: +972-52-3257722
E-mail 1: [email protected]
E-mail 2: [email protected]
Skype: leshemyossi
Visit our web site:

Zev Labinger

Artists for Nature Foundation In Israel
18A Narkisim St Kiryat Tivon, 36073, Israel
Tel: +972-49533045
Cell: +972-50-6671517
Email: [email protected]
Skype: Zevlabinger

Project Partners