12 Palestinian artists to come to Edinburgh Fringe Festival

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Lot of credit to David Greig

Tons of credit here to David Greig, there has been a lot of controversy in the Edinburgh with regards to Israel and Palestine as well as the Fringe managers in terms of trying to get Palestine performers in to the Edinburgh Festival this August and managing to make it happen, is just AMAZING! Also countries that will or may appear in the Fringe with the help of this company of funders are the likes of Syria, Uganda and Ukraine to name a few. I edited this as the first draft was too political. I am learning 😀 So well done to all who made it possible for Palestinian actors, comedians, dancers singers and more to say to the World “WE IN PALESTINE ARE JUST LIKE YOU, SADLY WE ARE OPPRESSED” Yet the hardship these people have put aside to leave family behind to seek fame and maybe fortune to start with hopefully, the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. The World, small % of the World for some reason won’t allow Palestine to live, to walk free, to see if given 100% peace and left alone, could they live happily. Some want to stop this very process below. I don’t like it but I totally understand why. I will leave it at ‘Well done the Edinburgh Festival, people who donated money and also the Palestinians coming over. I will go and see them and blog it for sure

~~Via: http://www.heraldscotland.com/ ~~

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It was one of the biggest controversies of last year’s Fringe festival. When it emerged an Israeli theatre company had received funding from its government to stage its show in Scotland there was outcry from those opposed to the country’s policies in the Middle-East.

Now a fund-raising campaign founded by the playwright David Greig that arose out of the storm of protest has unveiled a line up of Palestinian artists paid for by £10,000 in public donations.

Greig set up the crowd funding campaign to provide financial aid for shows and artists, notably from Palestine, who otherwise find it hard to come to the Edinburgh festivals. The initiative, called Welcome to the Fringe, has now unveiled a list of 12 artists supported by the campaign and events at two venues during this year’s festival.

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Greig was instrumental in setting up the initiative following the controversy that in 2014 engulfed a show called The City by Incubator Theatre. The company was partially funded by Israel’s Ministry of Culture and a series of cultural figures signed a letter urging the Underbelly venue to reconsider staging the show.

Following a furore and an inability to find a new venue, eventually the show was cancelled.

In the aftermath Greig established the funding initiative “to do something positive” and to aid Palestinian – and other – artists.

The project has been developed through a collaboration between Forest Fringe, London’s Gate Theatre and the Greig, with support from the AM Qattan Foundation and the British Council.

The show resulting from this campaign is Welcome To The Fringe: Palestine, an all-day program of performance at the Forest Fringe on August 23. The playwright said he and the venues involved would now like to make the Welcome to the Fringe Fund a permanent fixture for the festival.

Greig said: “Forest Fringe, Northern Stage, The Gate and I all feel that the Welcome to the Fringe model could work for artists from other countries and groups who can’t share so easily in the Fringe’s open access – Syria? Uganda? Ukraine? “And so we would like to build on the funding success last year by developing a permanent Welcome To The Fringe Fund.”

The artists coming to the Fringe include storyteller, Fidaa Ataa; poet Alice Youssef; stand up comedian Ayman Nahas, two performance artists Farah Saleh and Yazan Eweidat, The Al Shaghaf music group and The Al Harah Theatre company. The centrepiece of the days events will be a performance of a newly devised play called Shakespeare’s Sisters by Al Harah. The performers will be in Edinburgh for a week and will be “buddied” with local fringe performers and on Sunday 23rd they will all perform at Forest Fringe.

Welcome to the Fringe will also show short films, an exhibition of photography from Palestine, and panel discussions. Some of the artists will perform at Doune The Rabbit Hole Festival in Doune. The other event is an evening cabaret show: Here Is The New From Over There by Northern Stage at Summerhall.

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We demanded it here in Edinburgh and Scotland!

We demanded it here in Edinburgh and Scotland!

In this show Lorne Campbell and Northern Stage will be working with a mixed company of Arab and UK musician actors to make a show based on 25 specially commissioned Twitter feeds from 25 writers from Turkey, Syria, Egypt, Lebanon, and Israel. These twitter scripts will be merged with music, video and Traditional Arab storytelling techniques and Facebook feeds from the region to make an “alternative news tapestry, a nightly news show with a difference.”

Last year Greig explained some of his thinking behind the funding campaign.

He said: “It dispirits me knowing that my Palestinian theatre making friends are unable to come here and, it dispirits me to think that Israeli theatre makers who are brave enough to reject their government’s sponsorship, might be unable to come here as well. “In the light of all this, I felt the need to do something positive.”

Greig added: “Palestinian voices must be heard on their own terms. Palestinian theatre makers are massively disadvantaged. “It’s important that, in establishing this fund, we are careful to make sure its disbursement recognises this.”

We made this happen by protesting and NOT STOPPING!!

We made this happen by protesting and NOT STOPPING!!

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