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.
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.