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Peacebuilding, Conflict Transformation, and Conflict Zones

This section features content created in conflict zones or in response to cultural, political, or social conflict. You can start by reading a conversation with Chilean playwright Guillermo Calderón about theatremaking in Chile during the fall 2019 crisis, a piece about the bombing of Gaza’s last-remaining arts space, or an essay about a project highlighting plays from Arab and Jewish playwrights about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The Latest

Islam, Migration, and Storytelling
Essay
Islam, Migration, and Storytelling
by Asif Majid
8 July 2024
24 Hours for Palestine: A Moon Will Rise from Darkness
Video
24 Hours for Palestine: A Moon Will Rise from Darkness
A twenty-four hour online event featuring 100+ global artists and activists for a free Palestine
Saturday 20 July to Sunday 21 July 2024
United States
Art as a Weapon (Youth Against Invasion), Part Two
Essay
Art as a Weapon (Youth Against Invasion), Part Two
by The Freedom Theatre
18 June 2024
Event poster for 24 Hours for Palestine.
24 Hours for Palestine: A Moon Will Rise from Darkness
Video

24 Hours for Palestine: A Moon Will Rise from Darkness

A twenty-four hour online event featuring 100+ global artists and activists for a free Palestine

Saturday 20 July to Sunday 21 July 2024
United States

A twenty-four hour online event featuring 100+ global artists and activists for a free Palestine, including performances and presentations honoring the Palestinian people and their steadfastness in the face of genocide, and discussions of how to build solidarity in the global movement for Palestinian liberation. (Title inspired by Mahmoud Darwish).

Pages from the oldest known Qur'an, written in Arabic.
Islam, Migration, and Storytelling
Essay

Islam, Migration, and Storytelling

8 July 2024

Asif Majid introduces the Transatlantic Muslim Voices series with an essay that traces histories of oral performance and migration away from oppression that continue to inform experiences of Muslimness in today’s world and theatre landscape.

A group of protesters carrying a sign in support of The Freedom Theatre in Jenin.
Art as a Weapon (Youth Against Invasion), Part Two
Essay

Art as a Weapon (Youth Against Invasion), Part Two

18 June 2024

In the final installment of this two-part conversation, artists from the Freedom Theatre in Jenin, Palestine and Al Límite Collective in New York City come together to discuss the performance of Youth Against Invasion in the Cultural Resistance March, the Freedom Theatre’s global impact, and hopes for the future of the Freedom Theatre.

A zoom meeting featuring the authors of Youth Against Invastion.
Art as a Weapon (Youth Against Invasion), Part One
Essay

Art as a Weapon (Youth Against Invasion), Part One

17 June 2024

In the first installment of this two-part conversation, artists from The Freedom Theatre in Jenin, Palestine and Al Límite Collective in New York City come together to discuss the work of The Freedom Theatre and its school and the creation of Youth Against Invasion.

A man plays a guitar in front of a microphone.
How Cultural Resistance for Palestine Makes Revolution Irresistible
Essay

How Cultural Resistance for Palestine Makes Revolution Irresistible

15 May 2024

Beto O’Byrne discusses the work of three theatre artists in New York whose acts of cultural resistance contribute to the movement for a free Palestine.

Calling Up Justice Presents The Gaza Monologues Event Poster.
Calling Up Justice Presents The Gaza Monologues
Video

Calling Up Justice Presents The Gaza Monologues

Calling Up Justice is producing an accessible and disability justice informed digital production of The Gaza Monologues from Ashtar Theatre Palestine.

Wednesday 29 November 2023
United States

Calling Up Justice said yes to the invitation of global engagement from Ashtar Theater Palestine in response to the current crisis. This event is an accessible and disability justice informed digital production of The Gaza Monologues. 

Theatre of the Oppressed NYC's The Gaza Monologues Event Poster.
The Gaza Monologues Presented by Theatre of the Oppressed NYC
Video

The Gaza Monologues Presented by Theatre of the Oppressed NYC

A response to ASHTAR Theatre's urgent request to publicly read or perform The Gaza Monologues on The International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.

Wednesday 29 November 2023
United States

This event was Theatre of the Oppressed NYC's response to ASHTAR Theatre's urgent request to publicly read or perform The Gaza Monologues—testimonies written by ASHTAR youth in 2010, highlighting the fears, hopes, and resilience of Gazans—on The International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. 

Online Reading of The Gaza Monologues by Ashtar Theatre Palestine Event Poster.
Online Reading of The Gaza Monologues by Ashtar Theatre Palestine
Video

Online Reading of The Gaza Monologues by Ashtar Theatre Palestine

Theatremakers Publicly Performed The Gaza Monologues on the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.

Wednesday 29 November 2023
United States

Golden Thread Productions and Aviva Arts collaborated in their response to the urgent call put out by ASHTAR Theatre to theatremakers around the world to publicly read or perform The Gaza Monologues on the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People—a significant day for those who value justice, equality, and freedom for the Palestinian people.

A woman wearing a lacey crown stands alone on a carpeted floor with a hand extended in a "halt" gesture.
Anti-Terror Feminist Director Is in Russian Jail for “Justifying Terrorism”
Essay

Anti-Terror Feminist Director Is in Russian Jail for “Justifying Terrorism”

2 August 2023

After Russian courts found that Svetlana Petriychuk’s documentary theatre piece Finist the Brave Falcon “justified terrorism” due to its feminist aims, Petriychuk and director Zhenya Berkovich were jailed. Viktor Vilisov discusses the production, clarifying the production’s aims to amplify the experiences of Russian women whose attempts to flea Russian patriarchy has landed them in oppressive marriages to Syrian ISIS fighters.

portrait of Sasha Denisova sitting in theater seats.
Segal Talk with Sasha Denisova (Ukraine), Igor Golyak (US/Ukraine), Sara Stackhouse (US), and Irina Kruzhilina (US)
Video

Segal Talk with Sasha Denisova (Ukraine), Igor Golyak (US/Ukraine), Sara Stackhouse (US), and Irina Kruzhilina (US)

Discussing Their Production of Sasha Denisova’s The Gaaga (The Hague)

Monday 8 May 2023
New York City

Join us for a talk with award-winning Ukrainian playwright and director Sasha Denisova (Ukraine) and artistic director Igor Golyak (US/Ukraine) of Arlekin Players Theatre to discuss their production of Sasha’s The Gaaga (The Hague). Sasha has been living in Poland, where she has collected stories from refugees who have fled their homes due to the war, and traveled to interview many officials and everyday people in her quest to create a futuristic trail of Putin in the form of this new play.

Event poster for International Screenings from the Artistic Freedom Conference ("Fri Kunst").
Documentaries Highlighting Artistic Encounters Across the World
Video

Documentaries Highlighting Artistic Encounters Across the World

A Safe Havens Freedom Talk

Wednesday 26 April 2023
Oslo, Norway

Encounters between artists from different corners of the world are captured in a series of mini documentaries. Safe Havens Freedom Talks (SH|FT) presents Safe edition #2, launched during the Artistic Freedom Conference ("Fri Kunst").

event poster for woman, life, freedom panel.
Woman, Life, Freedom: Theatre and Protest in Iran
Video

Woman, Life, Freedom: Theatre and Protest in Iran

A Virtual Roundtable

Monday 27 March
Maryland, United States

Roshan Institute for Persian Studies at the University of Maryland, College Park and The Theatre Times present Woman, Life, Freedom: Theatre and Protest in Iran, a virtual roundtable in honor of World Theatre Day. Featuring Azadeh Ganjeh, Nassim Soleimanpour, Keyvan Sarreshteh, and moderator Marjan Moosavi, this conversation will explore Iranian theatre artists’ ethical vision and creative practice in response to the Woman, Life, Freedom movement. This event will feature live captioning and ASL interpretation.

Building Our Own Tables Season 3 teaser image with guest headshot.
Transform Yourself with Tierra Allen
Podcast

Transform Yourself with Tierra Allen

8 March 2023

This week, Yura Sapi is join by Tierra Allen who shares about creating The Real Work, a podcast about theatre culture and transformative justice that is co-produced with We Rise Production. This episode’s topics include learning from non-humans, sharing poems and songs, and being the change.

One performer stands next to four seated performers who hold sunflowers in their laps.
How Kyiv-Based Documentary Theatre Amplifies Ukrainian Resilience
Essay

How Kyiv-Based Documentary Theatre Amplifies Ukrainian Resilience

28 February 2023

Lisa Rafferty sits down with Ukrainian documentary storyteller Alem Kent to discuss Kent’s Our Response Ability and upcoming work with ProEnglish Theatre. Through documentary and verbatim theatre practices, these productions detail experiences of Ukrainians living under siege and working as war persists around them.

A person sits in front of a laptop watching actors rehearse on stage.
For Some Russian Dissident Theatremakers, the Future Is Unclear
Essay

For Some Russian Dissident Theatremakers, the Future Is Unclear

31 January 2023

Director Vitaly Kogut is one of many displaced Russian men spending this winter in Batumi, Georgia. Daniel Mesta interviews him about his work, in which uses theatre to communicate the complexities of the Russian soul while enduring censorship and cancellation.

An actor sits on a pure white stage with a white background and a human-sized laptop behind them.
Exodus and the Autobiography of War at Tbilisi International Festival
Essay

Exodus and the Autobiography of War at Tbilisi International Festival

5 January 2023

Yaşam Özlem Gülseven interviews Mikheil Charkviani about his work on Exodus, a production that traded grand historical narratives for granular perspectives on the impact of war in Georgia. Their interview, like the production, hinges on an important question: how do we learn to live with the past?

Five performers, with one of them holding a baby, stand in a line on stage and hold a Ukrainian flag together.
How Slovo. Theater Group Fights for Ukraine on the Cultural Front
Essay

How Slovo. Theater Group Fights for Ukraine on the Cultural Front

6 December 2022

Slovo. Theater Group uses theatre as a tool to fight against cultural oppression by promoting Ukrainian culture abroad. Audrey Rose, the group’s producer, discusses the process of making theatre during active war as a way of resisting oppression and violence.

Arts Assembly 2022 event poster that says: Greener Grass?
ArtsLink Assembly 2022: Greener Grass? Cultivating Transborder Connections Between Ukrainian Cultural Communities
Video

ArtsLink Assembly 2022: Greener Grass? Cultivating Transborder Connections Between Ukrainian Cultural Communities

A Platform for Ukrainian Artists, Curators, and Cultural Leaders to Share Perspectives and Ideas for the Future of the Cultural Life of the Country.

Wednesday 30 November to Friday 2 December 2022
Warszawa, Poland and Kyiv, Ukraine

CEC ArtsLink presented ArtsLink Assembly 2022: Greener Grass? Cultivating Transborder Connections Between Ukrainian Cultural Communities livestreaming on the global, commons-based, peer-produced HowlRound TV network Wednesday 30 November to Friday 2 December 2022.

Five children in a dark room surrounded by cots.
Nothing About Us Without Us
Essay

Nothing About Us Without Us

How Theatre and Performance Art Can Help Migrants and Refugees in Situations of Uncertainty

27 October 2022

Theatremaker Viktor Vilisov examines the important role theatre can play in supporting migrants and refugees.

Kunafa and Shay Teaser Image.
Buffer Fringe Performing Arts Festival
Podcast

Buffer Fringe Performing Arts Festival

4 October 2022

In this special episode, Marina and Nabra sit down with Lebanese actor, theatremakers, and peacebuilder Raffi Feghali to talk about the Buffer Fringe Festival. Buffer Fringe is an annual festival with a mission for peacebuilding and social justice, organized by Home for Cooperation and situated in the buffer zone in Cyprus. Buffer Fringe runs 7-9 October 2022, presenting three days of international, interdisciplinary, experimental performances under the theme of Pockets (beyond). Join us as we explore improv in Lebanon, experimental theatre in a geographically contentious area, and artistic curation for peacebuilding.

event poster for puppets in the green mountains festival 2022.
Puppets in the Green Mountains 2022
Video

Puppets in the Green Mountains 2022

Access Through The Arts Panel Discussions Exploring the Theme of Roots and Wings

Saturday 10 September - Sunday 18 September 2022
United States

Sandglass Theater presented events from the Puppets in the Green Mountains Festival 2022 livestreaming on the global, commons-based, peer-produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Saturday 10 September, Saturday 17 September, and Sunday 18 September 2022.

A person on the ground writing on a sign.
When Performance Art Is an Anti-War Instrument, Part Two
Essay

When Performance Art Is an Anti-War Instrument, Part Two

4 August 2022

In part two of his essay, Russian theatremaker Viktor Vilisov delves deeper into the performative nature of war itself and how art can create spaces for collective remembrance and grief.

Person holding a sign.
When Performance Art Is an Anti-War Instrument, Part One
Essay

When Performance Art Is an Anti-War Instrument, Part One

2 August 2022

Russian theatremaker Viktor Vilisov analyzes the power performance protest holds in opposing war, oppressive governments, and state violence.

Five men in white robes sitting in a semi-circle.
Exposing the Ills of Forced Marriage of Women and Young Girls in Nigeria Through the Theatre
Essay

Exposing the Ills of Forced Marriage of Women and Young Girls in Nigeria Through the Theatre

16 May 2022

In 2021, Nigerian director Josephine Awele Odunze directed a powerful production of Wedlock of the Gods by Zulu Sofola. Odunze sits down with Eseovwe Emakunu to discuss the play’s connections to issues Nigerian women face today, as well as her hopes that theatre can contribute to attaining true gender parity in Nigeria.

event poster for safe havens freedom talk Destroying History: Urbicide and Destruction of Cultural Heritage in Bamiyan.
Destroying History
Video

Destroying History

Urbicide and Destruction of Cultural Heritage in Bamiyan

Thursday 12 May 2022
Afghanistan

Safe Havens Freedom Talks presented a conversation Destroying History: Urbicide and Destruction of Cultural Heritage in Bamiyan in Afghanistan livestreaming on the global, commons-based, peer produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Thursday 12 May 2022 at 8:30 a.m. EDT (New York, UTC -7) / 12:30 p.m. UTC / 2:30 p.m. CEST (Stockholm, UTC +2) / 5 p.m. AFT (Kabul, UTC +4:30).

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