For several months Jordan Valley Solidarity has been working in Partnership with Ashtar Theatre. Together they have brought together a group of 6 young people from the valley to share their experiences and put them together in a play, which is now being performed as part of Ashtar’s 2015 festival.

On 9th May a group of JVS activists attended the play…

Performed in an outdoor park in the heat of Jericho, watched by Palestinian and internationals alike, Ashtar Theatre’s ‘The Court’ seamlessly tells the story of Palestinians’ lives living under the occupation in The Jordan Valley. Through the use of forum theatre, audience participation and discussion is encouraged throughout, as ‘The Court’ portrays personal stories with incredibly captivating honesty.

Ashtar’s work with The Jordan Valley Solidarity has enabled theatre to be used as a tool by those involved. Performed by people living in The Jordan Valley, the actors depicted to the audience the daily oppression that they and their families face living under the occupation. Carefully crafted by the director Iman Aoun, the performers brought their personal stories to life, sharing details that often otherwise go unheard. From the boy who was late for school due to limited transportation, to the poor health of the Palestinian women working in settlements, ‘The Court’ enabled dialogue to occur between the actors, the audience, and member of the local community with an ease that is often deemed impossible.

Ashtar’s impeccable ability to stimulate thought and orchestrate debate in a welcoming and unhostile environment, enabled the audience to further understand the livelihoods of many of those living in Area C.  The audience’s participation was welcomed, as they stepped into the roles of mediators to the difficult situations portrayed. Strangers therefore worked together to try to find resolutions to the problems. As they played characters of the Palestinian Authority or the managers in illegal settlement, the audience gained a deeper understanding of the many layers to the oppressive occupation.

This show, rehearsed within the communities of the Jordan Valley, managed to bring together a narrative from the voices of resistance in the occupation. It left the audience with unanswerable questions about the conditions of life in Occupied Palestine, but a brief insight into a world unfamiliar to many.

This project was possible through funding from the European Union, Swedihs Postcode Lottery and the Prince Claus Fund for Culture and Development.

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