Sharon Schurder, a London-based painter who uses her experiences of antisemitism as inspiration for her artwork, appeared on the most recent episode of Podcast Against Antisemitism where she provided insight into her creative process.
Ms Schurder revealed how she experienced antisemitism on more than one occasion whilst taking public transport, which led her to feel unsafe to the degree that she felt no other option but to take taxis to work.
“I’m Orthodox, so I had a little siddur with me, so it’s pretty obvious that I was Jewish. And someone tried to send me a picture through AirDrop…I didn’t open it because it was just a guy behind me laughing away so I kind of knew it was going to be something. And he was saying stuff, like ‘blah blah blah, Jewish, blah blah blah’.”
Ms Schurder added that on another journey, someone yelled “you’re killing babies” at her, and in a separate incident whilst waiting on a platform at Borehamwood and Elstree train station, a man screamed at Ms Schurder and her children: “Go chat with Netanyahu…you don’t belong here.”
“I’m a grandchild of Holocaust survivors,” Ms Schurder revealed, “so I’m probably always cognisant of ‘are we really welcome, are we really wanted?’
“It’s London, that can’t be happening, that you can’t just travel normally on public transport. It was unnecessary and terrifying.”
When asked about the process behind turning her experiences into art, Ms Schurder said: “My aim in every painting is to make people look at that painting and make them stop and think….that activism, trying to be pumped into the paint.
“There is a lot of meaning behind it. In my art, it’s very value-based…for me, it’s a lot about combatting antisemitism with a very strong Jewish pride.”
Throughout the interview, Ms Schurder touched upon a wide variety of topics which included discussing her grandfather, a Holocaust survivor who also painted, the story of how she began painting, and what it was like being featured in British Vogue.
Podcast Against Antisemitism, produced by Campaign Against Antisemitism, talks to a different guest about antisemitism each week. It streams every Thursday and is available through all major podcast apps and YouTube. You can also subscribe to have new episodes sent straight to your inbox.