Sarah Zlata
Sarah ZlataSelf

An art student at the Shenkar College of Engineering, Design and Art in Ramat Gan who was slammed by school lecturers overher painting depicting a terrorist ignominiously standing next to a noose while wearing only underwear, hit back at her critics recently, and defended her right to self-expression.

The student, Sarah Zlata from Efrat, is trying to make a change in academia and the prevailing artistic worldview.

She says that since the event she received mixed reactions from the students, "At the moment I haven't gotten a reaction from Shenkar staff, but I did receive responses from students. Some students banded together and said they'd strike classes until they threw me out, and there were some students who sent me a message that they appreciated what I did and they thank me.

"I didn't expect responses of support that agree with my opinion. I also don't want people to always agree with what I say. People may perceive it as a provocation, but I think it's defined under the definition of freedom of expression. And you can see from the reactions that freedom of expression is apparently a one-way-street."

Zlata's painting that offended Shenker personnel
Zlata's painting that offended Shenker personnelSpokesman

This isn't the first time Zlata caught flak at her place of studies, "I came to Shenkar because of the professional level. I remember on the first day of studies I arrived early; I was so excited to start studying there and I got a lot of slaps in the face from this place. But it's not going to stop me; I'll continue to produce things similar to what I've presented."

She intends to continue studies at Shenkar and concludes, "I came to study art and I have two years left, so I intend to continue; I have no other plans. If it bothers someone I'm there, he can leave himself."

Zlata calls on more religious students to study in places like Shenkar College and not be afraid to express an opinion. "I think the discourse in academia is mainly leftist and I know of a lot of students who are afraid to express their right-leaning opinion and I think that's a shame, especially in a place that calls themselves liberals."