Aug 9, 2012

The Freedom Bus August update

August is upon us and the Freedom Bus team is busy laying the ground for the Freedom Ride that will take place from September 23 to October 1. During these nine days, people from around the world will travel through the occupied West Bank, coming together to share experiences, build alliances and stand in solidarity with the people of Palestine. If you wish to join the ride, click here to find out more!

The group of actors that was formed at the end of last year has developed into an ensemble with members from across the West Bank as well as from Nazareth. They hold regular trainings and performances, connecting with communities that will be part of the Freedom Ride. Recent Freedom Bus events include a female-only performance in Faquaa north of Jenin, where the women of the village got together to share stories from their everyday lives, and a performance in Dheisheh Refugee Camp outside Bethlehem. 

Using storytelling, one of the most ancient rituals for developing support and connection between group members, the Freedom Bus has already given voice to hundreds of accounts, bringing them to life through improvisational theatre. Audience members often give feedback on how the ensemble is highly successful in communicating the essence of their experiences. At the latest Faquaa event the women repeatedly told the actors: “It was exactly like that!”

The Freedom Bus has also helped raise awareness about the difficult circumstances under which many Palestinian communities exist. The events held so far have facilitated meetings between community members, and organisations, researchers, journalists, scholars, artists and human rights advocates who have helped to broadcast their experiences.  One example is Faquaa, where village members have established an ongoing partnership with EWASH, The Emergency Water, Sanitation and Hygiene group which is a coalition of international and local organisations working in the water and sanitation sector.

This is only the beginning of the Freedom Bus project and we are very excited about the outcomes it can bring. We welcome you to join us, if not in body then in spirit, as we embark on what promises to be an eventful ride.

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Jun 18, 2012

The Freedom Bus is on the road!

At this moment I feel free from the occupation!
Omar Hajajlah, participant in a Freedom Bus event in the village Al-Walajah 

Thanks to the generous support of people all over the world, the Freedom Bus crew has been able to embark on the exciting process of preparing for the Freedom ride in late September. The crew has visited and performed with marginalized communities such as the Jahalin Bedouin in the hills east of Jerusalem, who are faced with the constant threat of forced displacement from their lands, and the village Al-Walajah, soon to be surrounded by the Wall that Israel is building as well as by illegal settlements. The Freedom Bus has also used live video link to connect with youth in Gaza, engaging them in a joint project with youth from the village of Faquaa concerning the acute water problems in their communities. These children have no possible way of meeting in person, but through this project they can exchange experiences, watch each other on the screens, discuss and laugh together. In one of these encounters a girl in Gaza told the other children about getting 93% on her science test and how she is going to solve her country’s water problems when she grows up.

The Freedom Bus has also travelled to Jordan and Egypt, performing stories from the Arab Spring and introducing the Playback Theatre concept to new audiences. The crew made a performance in Tahrir Square in Cairo, the heart of the Egyptian revolution, enacting the experiences of men and women who came bursting with memories, emotions and stories.

All these events are leading up to the main Freedom ride, from September 23rd to October 1st. During these nine days, people from around the world will travel through the West Bank, coming together to stand in solidarity, share experiences and build alliances. Don’t miss this opportunity to participate directly in the movement towards freedom and justice in Palestine! Click here to find information on how to join the ride. 

Once again The Freedom Theatre and the Freedom Bus crew would like to thank you for your generous support to our project. We couldn't have come this far without you!

Who knew it would come to this? That the brave heart of humanity is in our hands across the entire world: the hands of poets and actors and singers and dancers, of teachers, of doctors and dentists, of the middle and working class and poor of the awakened planet. The hands of musicians, of midwives, of architects, of students on every single continent. The hands of mothers and fathers straining to make a world for their young. Yes. This has everything to do with THE FREEDOM BUS. A vehicle that moves on wheels but even faster on our prayers for a different and better world. [...] Let those who can, take a seat, physically, on this bus. This might well become the journey of one’s life! […] Alice Walker, Author

 


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