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.