The first Jerusalem Show had essentially been a pilot but had worked so well that a decision was taken to make it an annual event:
I think we realised that this was the way forward. Over the previous 10 years Al-Ma’mal had built a presence and established its programmes so people were no longer noticing the work we did in the same way. The Jerusalem Show was a way to sum up the work we do for the whole year and to put it all into one big event using every venue in the city. (Jack Persekian, Interview 2010)
The Jerusalem Show became a way of not only consolidating everything that Al Ma’mal had done but also involving the community directly in an event dedicated to their city. Another practical benefit was that preparations for the show meant that Al-Ma’mal could provide work experience for students and volunteers. Thus when the idea of the second Jerusalem Show was raised in 2008, local organizations and institutions once again enthusiastically offered their support.
The success of the guided tours of the exhibition in 2007 contributed to the underlying concept for the second Jerusalem Show which was Walks in the City with routes inspired by the organization of artworks both indoors and outdoors throughout the Old City. In this sense the walks in the city became a kind of treasure hunt for artworks with some easier to find than others. Emily Jacir created a sound work installed at Damascus Gate (Bab il Amoud). From a speaker mounted on a balcony came calls from servees or communal taxi drivers announcing the departure of the taxis to neighbouring cities like Amman and Damascus, regular taxi routes before 1967. The sound of their voices calling out the city names was a reminder of the once fluid space of movement, connection and exchange.
Less than ten minutes from Damascus Gate in a narrow residential alley was another site-specific installation by Manar Zuaibi called O’shb Akhdar Akhdar (Green Green Grass). Zuaibi threaded wires inside long strings of red wool and inserted the red thread into the holes between stones in the walls so that each then spontaneously burst forth from the holes in the walls.
Intervening in the physical environment in ways that could not be overlooked was a feature of the second Jerusalem Show. Nida Sinnokrot positioned 3mm LEDs throughout the Old City which shone a brilliant blue for approximately 15 days. Once discovered the lights invariably shifted location in the hands of children and adults alike, mapping their own passage throughout the City.
Oraib Toukan worked with an economist to calculate the real market values for the purchase of nation states on a 99-year lease-hold and then produced auction catalogues and signs for upcoming auctions of Middle East territory. Henrik Placht mounted a large neon sign.
25 artists participated in the second Jerusalem Show and several of these were former artists in residence at Al-Ma'mal. The range of mediums were customarily eclectic and included paintings, photography, film screenings, videos and performances including Elizabeth Sansome’s The Secrets of Mary Magdalene
Film maker Issa Freij documented the people, the works and the walks of the 2nd Jerusalem Show in a film called Forgive and Forget. While The Jerusalem Show was a chance to experience the city in the here and now the title of the film, Forgive and Forget, was an ironic marker of the 60th anniversary of 1948.