Hunger Games

Today I want to go back to a post I made in May about Juliano Mer-Khamis, a founder of the Freedom Theatre in the West Bank, Palestine, who was assassinated outside his own theatre. To put the post in context, both in terms of the Freedom and the regional politics the film below is excellent (and I warn you, at times, difficult to watch).

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Now, the co-founder of the Freedom Theatre, Zakaria Zubeidi, and the artisitic director, Nabil al-Raee, are both in Israeli prisons and on hunger strike.  No charge has been brought against Zubeidi and al-Raee has been charged with some very spurious offences.

This isn’t a political post, although you can probably guess what I think from the mere fact I’m blogging about the situation. It is about the power of theatre and the belief in this power to bring about social, cultural and political change.

In the course of the last year, at least six members of the Freedom’s board and staff have been arrested by the Palestinian Authority.  What is it that a tiny little theatre like this can do that causes one of the most heavily armed nations in the world to persecute it in this way? No one has yet been charged for the killing of Mer-Khamis.

Below are a series of articles, the most recent coming first, that explore the last 18 months in the incredible story of the Freedom Theatre.  I urge you read them all and make your own mind up.

Detained Palestinian theatre director resumes hunger strike

West Bank Freedom theatre director on hunger strike

West Bank theatre founder wanted by Israel after amnesty deal revoked

Palestinian theatre stages first play without director Juliano Mer Khamis

Juliano Mer-Khamis – a killing inspired by drama, not politics

Israeli peace activist Juliano Mer Khamis shot dead in Jenin

By clicking the image on the left you can watch to Juliano Mer-Khamis talking about the importance of drama as a means of coping with Israeli occupation.

You can also listen to Mer Khamis talking in another interview from 2005  about a film he made, called Arna’s Children, which you can watch below.

Finally, I repost the video from May about the Freedom Theatre and the immensely important role it plays in helping the people of the West Bank live under Israeli occupation.

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