The Freedom Bus - Community Theatre

by The Freedom Theatre
Performing and sharing stories
Performing and sharing stories

Dear friend,

2016 is soon upon us and we would like to wish you a happy new year!

In 2016, we will mark our ten-year anniversary. What a journey it has been, growing from a small community-based theatre in a refugee camp to one of the largest, most renowned Palestinian cultural forces. We are proud of our accomplishments and are eagerly looking forward to celebrating them together with friends such as yourself.

The Freedom Bus project has been at the core of our activities ever since it was founded in 2011. As we plan the fifth annual Freedom Ride in March, 2016, this crowdfunding campaign is also coming to an end. We invite you to continue following our journey and continue to support the Freedom Bus project. 

First and foremost, we invite you to join the next Freedom Ride. It will take place from March 21 to April 1, and will involve people from across Palestine and the world who will travel together through the West Bank, joining people in their everyday lives, hearing other's stories and sharing their own, making art where art is most needed. Read more and sign up!

We end this letter by extending our immense gratitude for your support to this project. We truly couldn't have made it without you, and we will continue to keep you close to our hearts. Thank you for choosing to participate directly in the movement towards freedom and justice in Palestine!

Art, joy and community
Art, joy and community
Working together, laughing together
Working together, laughing together
The Freedom Bus rides again!
The Freedom Bus rides again!

Links:

Playback Theatre performance
Playback Theatre performance

Dear friend,

October is upon us and here at The Freedom Theatre we are about to embark on a new adventure: a Playback Theatre intensive workshop in Jenin refugee camp and Al-Aroub refugee camp! 

Over 12 days, international and Palestinian participants will learn and practice the core elements of the unique Playback Theatre method, with emphasis upon its use within the Palestinian context. 

The first half of the workshop will take place in Jenin refugee camp and the second in Al-Aroub, where public performances will also be given. Al-Aroub refugee camp is located close to Bethlehem and Hebron. Much like Jenin, the camp suffers greatly from the Israeli occupation, not least through movement restrictions, frequent army incursions and settler violence. Like all refugee camps it is very isolated from the world at large as well as from the rest of occupied Palestine. In this context, the arts become crucially mportant and we are very happy to be able to offer workshops and performances to the Al-Aroub community!

Follow our adventures on Facebook: www.facebook.com/thefreedomtheatre and the Freedom Bus blog for details of the next Freedom Ride in March 2016: freedombuspalestine.wordpress.com.

Links:

Come join us in March 2016!
Come join us in March 2016!

2016 will be the ten-year anniversary of The Freedom Theatre and so the next Freedom Ride will be a very special event!

In 2006, The Freedom Theatre opened its doors. Since then, it has grown from a small community centre to one of the most prominent cultural institutions in Palestine. We want to celebrate this accomplishment and hope that you will join us!

March 2016 may seem a logn way away but it's never too early to sign up for the Freedom Ride! As we are about to start planning next year's ride, we are happy to know if you are interested in joining us. Send an email to freedombus@thefreedomtheatre.organd we will keep you in the loop as the planning progresses. 

See the Freedom Bus blog for details of past rides: freedombuspalestine.wordpress.com.

Playback Theatre is a central part of the ride
Playback Theatre is a central part of the ride
No borders, no walls!
No borders, no walls!

Links:

Freedom Riders in the Jordan Valley
Freedom Riders in the Jordan Valley

This year's Freedom Ride in occupied Palestine brought together 50 people from Palestine and abroad who travelled to communities across the occupied West Bank, bringing cultural resistance from Jenin in the north, all the way to Jerusalem.

Actually, not everyone made it to Jerusalem. The original plan was to spend the two last days of the Freedom Ride there - a symbolic and actual defiance of the enforced separation between Palestinians in the West Bank and in East Jerusalem. However, realities on the ground came in the way. Despite several attempts, the Palestinian members of the Freedom Ride, including The Freedom Theatre’s staff, students and actors, were denied permits and thus could not cross the checkpoint between Ramallah and Jerusalem. The international members of the Freedom Ride were put in a dilemma – should they continue or stay? In the end half the group stayed behind to in Ramallah and the other continued into East Jerusalem. In the evening the two groups carried out parallel playback theatre events, sharing stories of isolation, marginalisation and the difficulties of having to separate from the Freedom Riders who were not granted permission to enter their own capital. There were also accounts about solidarity between people from around the world with Palestine and how that inspires and gives hope.

For many, this year's ride was a transformative journey.

"The Freedom Ride was a very intense, rich experience. I appreciated the fact that there was a good number of Palestinians on the ride and that Palestinians played a dominant role in organizing the itinerary and events throughout the ride. The Ride is unique in its combination of Freedom Ride participant interaction, experiences with a diverse set of Palestinian communities and engagement with the arts. Every day I was saturated with stories, information, emotions and thoughts—snapshots of the multiple and diverse perspectives about the reality of occupation. It is an experience I will never forget and one that challenges me to change my own actions and involvement moving forward."

The unique feature of the Freedom Bus project is the use of cultural activism to bear witness, raise awareness and build alliances. Actors and musicians invite real-life stories from communities across occupied Palestine and subsequently transform each account into a piece of improvised theatre. This makes the Freedom Ride organized by The Freedom Theatre unique in Palestine and very different from other solidarity rides. Other events of the Freedom Ride include volunteer work in communities, such as planting trees, painting walls or making mud bricks, walks, workshops and educational talks. All these activities happen in communities who are affected by the occupation in their daily lives, but who differ in how they respond to it. The accounts we heard were not easy to bear and sometimes emotionally overwhelming.

In the end we hope there will be no need for another Freedom Ride in occupied Palestine. But as long as Palestine is not free, we will continue. We hope you will continue to stand by our side.

Making new friends
Making new friends
Music and theatre are central in the Freedom Ride
Music and theatre are central in the Freedom Ride
Freedom Rider waving a flag close to a settlement
Freedom Rider waving a flag close to a settlement
Popular resistance works!
Popular resistance works!
Playback theatre event in a small village
Playback theatre event in a small village

Links:

Welcome to Atuwani!
Welcome to Atuwani!

February is upon us and this year's Freedom Ride is drawing closer! Here at The Freedom Theatre in Jenin we are busy with the preparations and we are very excited to soon be able to share this adventure with you.

February is upon us and this year's Freedom Ride is drawing closer! Here at The Freedom Theatre in Jenin we are busy with the preparations and we are very excited to soon be able to share this adventure with you.

During March 19-30 people from across Palestine and the world will join communities in marginalized areas of the occupied West Bank, in a solidarity ride that will include volunteer work, guided walks, interactive workshops and cultural events. Through Playback Theatre, community members will share personal accounts about the realities of life and struggle in some of the most heavily targeted yet most resilient areas under occupation and oppression.

The best part is, YOU can still join this amazing journey!

We aim to have around 35 international participants on this year's Freedom Ride, and strongly encourage those who want to join us to send an email to freedombus@thefreedomtheatre.org as soon as possible to guarantee a seat on the bus. 

All details are on the Freedom Bus blog: freedombuspalestine.wordpress.com, where you can also find daily updates from last year's ride.

If you're not able to join us in person, rest assured that we will keep you updated throughout the ride, on the blog and here on GlobalGiving. 

Included in this update are images of recent preparation trips to some of the communities we will be staying with during the Freedom Ride. There were many messages of gratitude and welcoming extended to you, our dear supporters and hopefully soon-to-be freedom riders!

Habeeb, one of this year
Habeeb, one of this year's tour managers
Beautiful Jordan Valley
Beautiful Jordan Valley
Greetings from Abu Saqer
Greetings from Abu Saqer

Links:

 

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Organization Information

The Freedom Theatre

Location: Jenin, Palestine - Palestine
Website: http:/​/​thefreedomtheatre.org
The Freedom Theatre
Project Leader:
Jonatan Stanczak
Jenin, Occupied Palestine Palestine

Funded Project!

Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.
   

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