Facebook share Share on TwitterRSS feed

Innovative Minds © 2010. All Rights Reserved. www.inminds.co.uk

[Boycott - Cultural]

Theatre under occupation: Ashtar at Shakespeare's Globe


inminds
10 May 2012

Palestinian theatre Ashtar received a standing ovation as they performed Richard II in Arabic at Shakespeare's Globe Theatre in London on Friday 4th May 2012 as part of the Globe to Globe festival. At the end of the performance several Palestinian flags could be seen raised in the audience in solidarity.



Ashtar performing Richard II at Shakespeare's Globe Theatre



Left-to-right: Nicola Zreineh (Bolingbroke in Richard II), Iman Aoun (Artistic Director, Ashtar), George Ibrahim (Gloucester in Richard II)



For us its not about Habima or not Habima, for us its about an Israeli existence in our land.. As long as we are under military occupation, as long as there is no justice.. as long as we are deprived from very basic human rights as human beings, we call for a boycott of Israel.

Nicola Zreineh, Ashtar Team
(Bolingbroke in Richard II)


After the performance, theatre goers were treated to a special discussion with Iman Aoun, the company's artistic director, and other members of Ashtar Theatre entitled "Theatre under Occupation: What does Shakespeare have to say to the Palestinians?".

Playwright Sonja Linden, writer/broadcaster Bidisha, and actor Roger Lloyd-Pack (in the audience) joined the Ashtar team for a riveting yet jovial discussion. Some of these artists had earlier, along with 35 other artists, written an open letter to Shakespeare's Globe criticising its decision to invite the Israeli State Theatre Habima:

"..by inviting Habima, the Globe is associating itself with policies of exclusion practised by the Israeli state and endorsed by its national theatre company. We ask the Globe to withdraw the invitation so that the festival is not complicit with human rights violations and the illegal colonisation of occupied land"

Whilst the Globe provided a venue for the discussion, they didn't allow us permission to video the event. However they didn't prevent us from taking photographs and an audio recording, so we cobbled together a video from these which is included in full below.




Left-to-right: Nicola Zreineh (Bolingbroke in Richard II), Iman Aoun (Artistic Director, Ashtar), George Ibrahim (Gloucester in Richard II), Naomi Wimborne-Idrissi (chair), Bidisha (writer/broadcaster), Sonja Linden (playwright)



Sami Metwasi (King Richard in Richard II)

Video: Ashtar at Shakespeare's Globe Theatre


A few interesting snippets from the discussion:

At the end of Richard II when Bolingbroke kills King Richard II to become King Henry IV his first act is to go on pilgrimage to Jerusalem (to show the people his religious credentials). Iman Aoun, the artistic director, referred to this as Bolingbroke coming to Palestine to clean his blooded hands and dirtying our lands with it (another member interjected - 'everybody does!').

Nicola Zreineh who played Bolingbroke commented that whilst Bolingbroke could visit Jerusalem, coming from England (a distance of over 2000 miles), he, a Palestinian living in Bethlehem, only a few miles from Jerusalem is prevented by Israel from visiting Jerusalem!



Nicola Zreineh (Bolingbroke in Richard II)

Many of the cast commented on the practical problems they face under occupation, especially movement due to the checkpoints. Firas Farah, who played Aumerie in Richard II, commented on the difficulty of travelling to Ramallah, to the theatre, to rehearse the play:

"I come from Jerusalem, but really I felt that London is closer than Ramallah, I studied in Ramallah, in Bier Zeit University its 45minutes away but really I'm spending a day travelling, its like going to another country, hours spend at checkpoints.."


Firas Farah (Aumerle in Richard II)



Firas Farah (Aumerle in Richard II)

When asked about Habima and BDS, Imam Aoun responded:

"We support BDS and the cultural boycott, we have also written to the Globe asking them to reconsider.. because we were also shocked to know that Habima was onboard.. We do not agree to any Israeli presence in the West bank if it is a hostile presence like the settlements and those who are complicit with the policies of the Israeli government and the occupation."

She explained that for them its personal, they are living the occupation, so for example to get to the UK they had to go via two different airports because Palestinians cannot travel through Tel Aviv.

"But when we travelled through Tel Aviv we had to face hell, we had to be strip searched and we had to take off our cloths and we had to [allow] hands to be put on our very sensitive places even though they know we are flying to the Globe.. they don't care.. We don't care as well and our voice will stay loud and we will say no to the occupation and no to anyone who supports the occupation!"


Left-to-right: Nicola Zreineh (Bolingbroke in Richard II), Iman Aoun (Artistic Director, Ashtar), George Ibrahim (Gloucester in Richard II)

Nicola Zreineh added:

"For us its not about Habima or not Habima, for us its about an Israeli existence in our land.. As long as we are under military occupation, as long as there is no justice.. as long as we are deprived from very basic human rights as human beings we call for a boycott of Israel."

Despite the reality of the occupation, members of Ashtar were upbeat and full of humour. When one of the group had to leave for another meeting, another of the members shouted "there is no checkpoint here" as to say 'you have plenty of time, whats the rush?'.



Raed Ayasa (Green in Richard II)

For more detailed coverage of the event please see JBIG article on it.

More Photos




Sonja Linden (playwright) & Bidisha (writer/broadcaster) (right-to-left)



Iman Aoun (Artistic Director, Ashtar)



George Ibrahim (Gloucester in Richard II)



George Ibrahim (Gloucester in Richard II)



Sami Metwasi (King Richard in Richard II) & Amer Khalil (Bagot in Richard II)



Amer Khalil (Bagot in Richard II)



Bayan Shbib (the Queen in Richard II)



Bayan Shbib (the Queen in Richard II)



Mohammad Eid (Ross in Richard II)



Iyad Hurani (Percy in Richard II)



Hussein Nakhleh (John of Gauntin Richard II)



Hussein Nakhleh (John of Gauntin Richard II)



Raed Ayasa (Green in Richard II)



Edward Muallem (Northumberland in Richard II)



Darwish Aburish (Palestine TV director - 'Making of Richard II')



Conall Morrison (Director of Richard II)



Iman Aoun (Artistic Director, Ashtar)



Iman Aoun (Artistic Director, Ashtar)



Bidisha (writer/broadcaster)



Sonja Linden (playwright)



Sonja Linden (playwright)






Nicola Zreineh (Bolingbroke in Richard II) and Iman Aoun (Artistic Director, Ashtar)



Iman Aoun (Artistic Director, Ashtar)









Roger Lloyd-Pack (British Actor)



Les Levidow (British Committee for the Universities of Palestine BRICUP)






Les Levidow (British Committee for the Universities of Palestine BRICUP)



Naomi Wimborne-Idrissi (chair)



Ihab Zahdeh (Mowbray in Richard II)



George Ibrahim (Gloucester in Richard II)



George Ibrahim (Gloucester in Richard II)



Bidisha (writer/broadcaster)


Bayan Shbib (the Queen in Richard II)



Ihab Zahdeh (Mowbray in Richard II)




At the end of the play, Bolingbroke kills King Richard II to become King Henry IV. His first act is to go to pilgrimage to Jerusalem (required public act of piety). Nicola Zreineh who played Bolingbroke commented that whilst Bolingbroke could visit Jerusalem, coming from England (a distance of over 2000 miles), he, a Palestinian living in Bethlehem, only a few miles from Jerusalem is prevented by Israel from visiting Jerusalem!

Source: www.inminds.com


Related Articles


Also Of Interest

Page URL: http://inminds.co.uk/article.php?id=10544
Boycott Israel Campaign
Support Us
If you agree with our work then please support us.

Give one time donation:

Setup monthly donation:
INMINDS Facebook Live Feed
Palestinian Prisoners Campaign Group

Featured Video's
You need Flash player 8+ and JavaScript enabled to view this video.
Why boycott Israel on Campus[1:50:05]
12 London universities discuss need for BDS on campuses. Speakers include Rafeef Ziadeh, Ilan Pappe, Karma Nabulsi & Mike Cushman
Love Letters to Gaza[31:08]
A unique theatrical event using personal messages of love, support and hope from people of all ages and all walks of life to the people of Gaza.
John Pilger[7:55]
journalist and documentary maker
Antiwar Mass Assembly 8 Oct 2011
Julian Assange[7:07]
founder of WikiLeaks
Antiwar Mass Assembly 8 Oct 2011
Lauren Booth, Sami Ramadani & Yvonne Ridley[6:28]
Reading the names of the dead
Antiwar Mass Assembly 8 Oct 2011
George Galloway[6:39]
Antiwar Mass Assembly 8 Oct 2011
Jemima Khan[8:42]
Antiwar Mass Assembly 8 Oct 2011
Why Boycott Marks & Spencer 2011?[23:29]
Demo outside M&S Oxford Street(24 Sept 2011)
Sean Clinton[4:59]
Israeli Blood Diamonds Campaign
Al Quds Day rally, Trafalgar Square (31 Aug 2011)
Lauren Booth[5:24]
Al Quds Day rally, Trafalgar Square (31 Aug 2011)
Lauren Booth - Prayer for Gaza[2:46]
Al Quds Day rally, Trafalgar Square (31 Aug 2011)
Benny Morris - Historian or Racist?[34:07]
Activists oppose visit of racist Israeli historian Benny Morris who justifies ethnic cleansing and genocide.
Is Israel applying apartheid?[2:12:56]
Speakers: Yael Kahn, Jody McIntyre and Ghada Karmi (5 May 2011)
Karen Mitchell[48:27]
Partner at Thompsons Solicitors
Life changing visit to Palestine in 2008 (21 Feb 2011)
Ramzy Baroud[1:59:32]
Editor-in-chief of the Palestine Chronicle
"My Father Was A Freedom Fighter - Gaza's Untold Story" (25 Mar 2011)
Women United in the Intifada[2:31:36]
Speakers: Lizzie Cocker, Ewa Jasiewcz, Alaa Kassim, Yvonney Ridley, Isis Amlak, Sukant Chandan, Ramzy Baroud (14 Mar 2011)
George Galloway[1:01:48]
Solidarity with the Middle-East Revolution, support the people - oppose US/UK intervention (SOAS, 11 Mar 2011)
Omar Barghouti[55:08]
BDS Movement co-founder
"Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions" book launch (7 Mar 2011)
Shir Hever[1:49:09]
Alternative Information Centre
The Political Economy of Israel's Occupation, Kings College London (17 Feb 2011)
Why academic boycott of Israel[1:29:37]
Speakers: Mohammed Abuabdou(PSCABI), Mike Cushman(BRICUP), Jodey McIntyre(activist) (8 Feb 2011)
Dashed Hopes - Gaza Blockade[1:23:08]
Mohammed-Ali Abu Najela (Oxfam), Andrea Becker (MAP), Ewa Jasiewicz (Free Gaza Movement) (1 Feb 2011)
Jordan Valley: Apartheid[1:17:12]
Sarah Cobham(Brighton Jordan Valley Solidarity), Chris Osmond (Corporate Watch) (House of Commons, 1 Feb 2011)
Dump Veolia Demo[7:00]
Protesting at settlement supporter Veolia's sponsership of exhibit at the Natural History Museum (23 Oct 2010)
Boycott Israeli Dates [1/2][9:11]
Are you financing Israels brutal occupation this Ramadan?
Boycott Israeli Dates [2/2][9:05]
Are you financing Israels brutal occupation this Ramadan?
Lee Jasper [1/2][10:13]
[4 of 8] Genocide Memorial Day 2010 Session One, 17-1-2010
Lee Jasper [2/2][9:51]
[5 of 8] Genocide Memorial Day 2010 Session One, 17-1-2010
One Oppressor One Bullet[8:11]
Imam Achmad Cassiem, veteran of the armed struggle against apartheid in South Africa, speaks at the StW rally (London, 19 Feb 2005)
Salwa Alenat [1/2][9:56]
KavLaOved (Workers Rights hotline)
[1 of 8] Israel's Occupation - Abuse of Palestinian Workers (LSE 19 Nov 2009)
Salwa Alenat [2/2][8:57]
KavLaOved (Workers Rights hotline)
[2 of 8] Israel's Occupation - Abuse of Palestinian Workers (LSE 19 Nov 2009)
For Anwar [1of2][10:01]
Carmel Agrexco Valentines Action 7 Feb 2009
For Anwar [2of2][9:56]
Carmel Agrexco Valentines Action 7 Feb 2009
big
[all videos (over 200)..]
Latest News..
[all-by date]
[all-by category]
[all-by modify date]
Special Additions

Featured MP3 Podcast

"Israel has conquered the land of Palestine, but has failed to conquer the people - the mind, the conscience, or the heart."
Palestinian Prime Minister
Enough Occupation Rally, June 2007 [8min / 4Mb]
[need flash]

[all podcasts..]
Newsletter
To subscribe
enter your email:

COPY VERIFICATION CODEcopy this code —>
Feedback
If you wish to comment on this page:

(all fields optional)



COPY VERIFICATION CODEcopy this code —>
The opinions expressed on this site, unless otherwise stated, are those of the authors.
All logos & trademarks are the property of their respective owners and their use is covered under 'fair use' policy.
Copyright © 1998-2012 Innovative Minds www.inminds.com All Rights Reserved.
The opinions expressed on this site, unless otherwise stated, are those of the authors.
All logos & trademarks are the property of their respective owners and their use is covered under 'fair use' policy.
Copyright © 1998-2012 Innovative Minds www.inminds.com All Rights Reserved.