Events

A STORY OF PALESTINE:  My personal journey through art and conflict

How can the arts help to transform lives in this setting of historic conflict?

David Oddie

David Oddie is Director of the Indra Congress, a global network of young people, artists and others who share a commitment to developing the arts as a unique resource for transformation in settings of conflict.
A Story of Palestine is a lecture with 60 images telling the story of a thirteen-year old partnership between the Indra Congress and Al Harah Theatre, Beit Jala on the West Bank.
The Indra Congress is an applied arts organization which responds to the expressed needs and wishes of young people and community groups in specific contexts. The first part of the lecture focusses on the context of Palestine and the impact of the creation of the state of Israel on the indigenous people. Life is challenging for young Palestinians living now in this situation: They may not only find themselves in conflict with the daily humiliations of living under Occupation but also with deeply conservative and traditional values within their own communities.
The second part outlines how Indra and Al Harah have worked together to develop safe, creative spaces in which young people can use the language of the arts to give expression, form and meaning to their experiences and ideas, and from which they can reach out and dialogue with their peers in various parts of the world.
The talk will last around 50 minutes followed by the opportunity for questions and discussion.
Contact: indracongress@hotmail.co.uk


July 2018 Congress

ARROWSA and Indra Congress are looking forward to hosting the next global Indra Congress and symposium in Durban, South Africa during July 2018.

Our proposed dates are arriving on the 2nd and  leaving on the 8th July 2018

The University of KwaZulu-Natal Drama and Performance Studies near the centre of the city of Durban is kindly providing premises for the Congress activities. Our volunteer ARROWSA management are donating their time for the co-ordination and running of the Congress.

We are very keen to create a programme of shared activities in the build up to the Congress over the prior 12 months. This will involve material and information about South Africa and a range of shared, practical workshop processes and ideas. The Congress will be the culmination of an important process of dialogue and exchange rather than a one-off event.


November 2016: Palestine through the Eyes of Indra

Thanks once again to Marina and her colleagues and the EU, we are able to promote the November Congress and invite participants from around the world to participate.   The Congress will follow a similar format to the July event and will create an opportunity to move forward in depth the work and reflections arising from the July event.


July 2016 Congress

This was a life changing experience for participants who were able to see for themselves the reality of the Israeli Occupation in the West Bank.  It was a very intensive week of skills workshops, symposium presentations from local, regional and international practitioners and arts organisations, a focussed ‘think tank’ group focussing on developing a framework for the use of the arts in settings and situations of conflict, cultural sharings and visits.  The skills workshops culminated in a well received and attended performance in Manger Square, a very special and symbolic experience for participants.   Huge thanks to Marina and her colleagues for creating this extraordinary opportunity.

A full newsletter account of the July Congress can be seen in the blog section of the web-site.


Indra Congress Bethlehem 2016

2016 has been a remarkable year for Indra in Palestine.  Thanks to the perseverance and imagination of Marina Barham and her colleagues in Al Harah Theatre, working with Dr Hala Yamani at Bethlehem University, we celebrated one Congress in July and are due to hold another one in November.  The July Congress was supported by the British Council in Jerusalem and numerous other sponsors and contributors.  Many thanks to all the people, too many to name, who made this remarkable event possible.  The November event, ‘Palestine through the Eyes of Indra’ is sponsored by the European Union (EU).

2016 has been a remarkable year for Indra in Palestine.  Thanks to the perseverance and imagination of Marina Barham and her colleagues in Al Harah Theatre, working with Dr Hala Yamani at Bethlehem University, we celebrated one Congress in July and are due to hold another one in November.  The July Congress was supported by the British Council in Jerusalem and numerous other sponsors and contributors.  Many thanks to all the people, too many to name, who made this remarkable event possible.  The November event, ‘Palestine through the Eyes of Indra’ is sponsored by the European Union (EU).


The Indra Congress: Bethlehem 2016

The 2016 Indra Congress will take place in Bethlehem during the week of the 17th July. We are guests of our dear friend Marina Barham of Al Harah Theatre and Dr Hala Yamani of Bethlehem University.

We were due to hold this event in 2015 but felt we had to postpone it due to the uncertain political situation in the region. The ongoing situation is still very volatile and is unpredictable for the foreseeable future. However, we thought it was very important to demonstrate our solidarity with our friends and colleagues in Beit Jala, so the Congress will go ahead.

The Congress, Palestine through the Eyes of Indra, will be an opportunity for practitioners from around the world, in existing and potential Indra Congress centres, to come together and share their practice, ideas and experience, especially in relation to the role of theatre and the arts in settings of protracted conflict. There will e a wide range of workshop activities, training opportunities, sharing of performances/presentations, speakers, discussion groups and social activities. The training will be led by members of Al Harah Theatre and members of the Palestinian Arts Organisations network.

Indra Symposium

The Practitioner Congress will also include a parallel academic symposium, A Foot in both camps. attended by Indra group co-ordinators, academics and practitioners, and generously hosted by the University of Bethlehem. The purpose of the symposium is to create a space where practitioners who work with young people in situations of conflict through theatre and related art forms, can share the issues, questions and contradictions which arise in their practice with fellow practitioners and with academics who specialise in the field of applied theatre. The particular focus of the symposium will be upon why performing arts are important for young people in conflict situations, how their impact can be assessed, and how the evidence for their importance can be communicated to politicians, community workers and funders.


The Indra Congress: Plymouth University 2015

Following the Derry Congress, Al Harah Theatre, Bethlehem invited us to an arts event in the West Bank in 2015. Recent events in Gaza made this unrealistic. We were all deeply moved by crises affecting Indra partners through war in Palestine and Ebola in West Africa. We therefore decided to hold an event in Plymouth, UK to rise to the artistic challenge of how Indra partners could still work creatively and interactively with isolated colleagues to create original drama, dance and art work, which would take place at the same time.

This opportunity, arising from crisis, will add new dimensions to Indra’s vision and capacity to develop the arts as a unique pathway, resource for reconciliation and transformation. Working for an intensive week at Plymouth University we will create a ‘live’ space for face-to-face interaction; a virtual space, i.e. a ‘5th wall’ using digital space projection and live internet, camera feeds for engaging isolated participants and those from Indra hubs unable to attend the live event.

The experiment of the simultaneous dance, taking place in Indra hubs around the world, will enable us to reach out and engage new participants and audiences – we are often asked by individuals and schools, ‘how can we be involved in Indra?’ The project presents an opportunity to explore this artistic challenge.