Ars Electronica Garden Palestine

Keffiyeh / Made in China

The Freedom Theatre (PS)

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Juliano Mer-Khamis

The Freedom Theatre is a Palestinian community-based theatre and cultural center in the Jenin Refugee Camp, on the northern part of the West Bank. Established in 2006, the theatre aims to generate cultural resistance by using popular culture and art as catalysts for social change in the occupied Palestinian territories. The theater’s goals are to „develop a vibrant and creative artistic community [that] empowers children and young adults to express themselves freely and equally through art [while] emphasizing professionalism and innovation“. The theater teaches courses in film, photography, creative writing, and theatre.


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The script of Keffiyeh/Made in China was dedicated to Juliano Mer-Kamis, and to François Abu Salem.

Writing: Dalia Taha
Direction: Ahmed Tobasi
Performance: Students of TFT Acting School, with the actresses Hadeel Takruri and Yasmin Shalaldeh.
Music: Somar As’ad
Lighting design: Firas Abu Sabbah
Technique: Adnan Naghnaghiye
Poster design: Abdelrahman Mansour
Filmed by Regash
Production Mustafa Sheta

A production of The Freedom School for Performing Arts 2021, supported by Open Society Foundations through the Palestinian Performing Arts Network. The show talks about clichés and stereotypes and looks behind prejudice, based on the human inclination to explain collective thinking around a specific issue, especially in the Palestinian case. Doing so in terms of a set of contradictions that deal with a people under occupation and violations, they also play a liberating role, albeit imperfectly, given the gaps between the occupier and the dispersed structural plans, premised on mistaken Palestinian policies. In this regard, the Palestinian garden faces these pressures with mockery, for “the worst disaster / calamity is the one that makes you laugh“.

This play, a joint Palestinian-Belgian production, was first staged in 2012, under the direction of Bart Danckaert. It is, based on texts by Dalia Yaha and Joris Van den Brande, in cooperation with The Royal Flemish Theatre (KVS) and The A.M. Qattan Foundation (AMQF), as part of the Performing Arts Summer School, supported by the European Cultural Foundation and the Government of the Kingdom of Belgium, through the Belgian Development Agency.