Retired East London maths teacher Sybil Cock, Hackney-based actor Doug Houlton, former national press sub editor Mary Brodin, nantional newspaper cartoonist Tim Sanders and young British film maker Ruby Hirsch are spending this Easter touring the Biblical lands of the West Bank bringing performing arts to remote Palestinian communities.
The Londoners are just some of the British citizens taking part in the week-long Jenin Freedom Ride organised by the Jenin Freedom Theatre to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Theatre. The performers will use ‘play back theatre’ to transform the villagers’ daily experiences under Israeli occupation into improvised theatre.
On Easter Saturday participants in the Ride will perform in Manger Square, Bethlehem and on Easter Sunday they will meet residents in Aida Refugee Camp, Bethlehem and hear from leading Palestinian activist Omar Barghouti.
The arts are becoming more centre stage and more contended in the Israeli/ Palestinian conflict with the international boycott movement hitting Israeli artists and audiences hard and growing international support for Palestinian arts and culture as non-violent tools for change.