Omar Barghouthi, Ilan Pappé, Mazin Qumsiyeh among speakers at Forum in April
In April 2016, The Freedom Theatre will celebrate its tenth anniversary with a six-day festival of Palestinian performing art and a forum on cultural resistance. The anniversary will bring together Palestinian theatre companies, performers and scholars, with the aim of exploring the role of the arts in the broader Palestinian popular struggle movement.
Speakers at the Forum and Festival will include:
Alaa Hlehel: Post-colonialism and the role of culture Alaa Hlehel is an author, playwright and journalist. He has an MA in Mass Communication and Fine Arts from Haifa University and is the chief editor of Qadita website for literature and culture. Hlehel is also a translator for human rights and cultural organisations as well as a translator of books and plays.
Moderator: Nabil Al-Raee, Artistic director of The Freedom Theatre, theatre director and playwright, actor and instructor, trained with Theatre Day Productions.
Hala Nassar: Cultural production and confusing agendas Hala Nassar is a lecturer, researcher and writer on Arab/Palestinian theatre, literature and drama. She is considered the first Palestinian academic to focus on Palestinian theatre in Western academia. Her book on the history of Palestinian theatre is forthcoming and she is co-editor of Mahmoud Darwish; Exile’s Poet.
Moderator: Mervat Ayash, Artist and lecturer in interior design at An Najah University, member of the board of The Freedom Theatre.
Ilan Pappé: Culture confronting occupation Ilan Pappé is a historian, professor at Exeter University and director of the university’s European Centre for Palestine Studies, author of among other books The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine, The Modern Middle East, and A History of Modern Palestine: One Land, Two Peoples.
Moderator: Gabriel Varghese, Co-artistic director of Sandpit Arts (UK), writer and theatre director, recently completed his Ph.D. at Exeter University on the history of Palestinian theatre after the first Intifada.
Khaled Katamesh: Art under occupation – experiences and common goals Khaled Katamesh is the director of El Funoun Dance Troupe and a co-founder of the Popular Art Centre. He is a former dancer, instructor and choreographer.
Moderator: Ramzi Abu Radwan, Musician, composer and founder of Al-Kamandjati music society and Dal’ouna ensemble.
Mazin Qumsiyeh: Conceptual dilemmas about cultural resistance Mazin Qumsiyeh is an author, professor, lecturer and researcher at Bethlehem and Birzeit Universities and director of the Palestine Museum of Natural History and Institute for Biodiversity Research. He has published hundreds of articles and talks and several books, including Mammals of the Holy Land, Sharing the Land of Canaan: human rights and the Israeli/Palestinian Struggle and Popular Resistance in Palestine: A history of Hope and Empowerment.
Moderator: Manal Tamimi, Activist in the popular resistance in Nabi Saleh, member of the Popular committee against the wall and settlements in Ramallah.
Omar Barghouthi: Effective popular resistance – the cultural boycott model Omar Barghouthi is an author, researcher and human rights activist. He is the founding committee member of the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) and co-founder of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement.
Moderator: Shahd Zakarneh, Youth activist, law graduate from Arab American University, member of Jenin Municipality and considered the youngest member of all local committees in Palestine.
Reem Talhami: Women, theatre and resistance Reem Talhami is a singer and actress who has released several albums and is often featured in festivals around the Middle East. She is a former teacher at National Institute of Music in Jerusalem and Ramallah and performer with El Hakawati – Palestinian National Theatre and Al Kasaba Theatre.
Moderator: Eman Nazzal, Feminist activist leader in the Jenin area, coordinator of Palestinian women’s affairs technical committee, head of the women committee of Al Fatah in Jenin.
Sudhanva Deshpande: What’s next? Sudhanva Desphande is an actor and director with Jana Natya Manch street theatre company, India, and editor with LeftWord Books publishing company.
Moderator: Faisal Abu Alhayjaa, Actor, theatre instructor and director with The Freedom Theatre and actor with Red Noses Clowndoctors Palestine.
Roundtable discussion: The role of culture in unifying resistance Ayman Yousef, Professor in Political Sciences and International Relations, Dean of Arts Faculty at Arab American University.
Alam Massad, Painter in plastic arts featured in local and international exhibitions, chairman of the board of Naqsh Troupe, activist in social and prisoner issues.
Iyad Staiti, Musician and director of Al-Kamandjati, music instructor, key figure in popularising oriental music.
Baraa Sharqawi, Photography instructor at The Freedom Theatre.
Bilal Saadi, Chairman of the board of The Freedom Theatre, member of Jenin Refugee Camp Popular Committee and secretary for the Youth Centre in Jenin Refugee Camp.
Jonatan Stanczak, Managing director and co-founder of The Freedom Theatre, former producer at The Swedish National Touring Company, coordinator at The Palestine Solidarity Association in Sweden, and active in the BDS movement in Sweden.
Mustafa Sheta, Journalist and researcher, secretary of the board of The Freedom Theatre, coordinator of the Theatre Festival and Forum on Cultural Resistance.
Mohammed Moawia, Multimedia coordinator at The Freedom Theatre, filmmaker, photographer and graphic designer.
Performances at the Theatre Festival will include:
The Siege by The Freedom Theatre, Searching for Handala by Yes Theatre, Confession by Quds Art, Taha by Amer Hlehel, 15 seconds in Gaza by Mo’min Switat, and a circus performance byThe Palestinian Circus School.
The program will also include theatre and dance workshops, photography and art exhibitions, film screenings, guided tours and much more.