The Ramallah-based ASHTAR Theatre lost its venue in Gaza

The Palestinian Theatre ASHTAR, established in Jerusalem in 1991, specializes in theatre training and acting programs, mainly in the form of Forum Theatre on community issues. The Al Mishal Theatre, ASHTAR’s second department in Gaza, has been destroyed by an Israeli air strike on 10 August as response to Hamas rocket attacks on Israel before. At least 18 people were wounded. The building hold a library and offices for artistic associations including dance troupes and musicians. Intentional targeting of cultural property is illegal under international law (Israel has signed the Hague Convention). 

“With great rage and deep pain, ASHTAR Theatre condemns the brutal attack of the Israeli occupation on Al Mishal Theatre in Gaza which flattened the 6 floors building to the ground.
Al Mishal was the base of ASHTAR youth group in Gaza since 2008. It had been the stage to various productions of ASHTAR Theatre; The Gaza  Monologues, Romeo and Juliet in Gaza, Hanin, The Flowers Garden, Hercules Children, and many more. The atrocities of the occupation had been escalating and it seems there is no bottom for their deterioration.”

Iman Aoun, Artistic Director, ASHTAR Theatre, Ramallah – Palestine

In it’s statement the Palestinian Performing Arts Network  calls the UNESCO “to issue a statement and resolution condemning the destruction of Palestinian tangible cultural heritage, and demand the international community rebuild the Center and other cultural and artistic organizations destroyed by the Israeli occupation in Gaza Strip.” 

The Guardian published a detailed report on August 22nd. 

Sources: www.gazamonologues.comwww.facebook.com/ashtartheatre

Open call for artists rights case studies

The UNESCO Chair ‘Cultural Policy for the Arts in Development’ at the University of Hildesheim (Germany) and its ARTS RIGHTS JUSTICE PROGRAM invite experienced researchers from all world regions to apply to undertake one of three studies which will contribute to the university’s ARTS RIGHTS JUSTICE OBSERVATORY. The papers shall be researched and written within a period of three months, from mid August until end of October 2018 and will be remunerated with a total of 3.000,- €.

Deadline for submission is August 10, 2018.

Sources: Arts Rights Justice ProgramCall (PDF) at Arts Rights Justice Observatory

Oliver Frljic’s “Our violence and your violence” disrupted in Brno (Czech Republic)

On Saturday, 26 May about 30 protesters from an extreme right movement disrupted the performance of the play “Our violence and your violence” by Croatian stage director Oliver Frljic at the theatre festival “Divadelni Svet” in Brno. Protesters climbed onto the stage and formed a human shield to prevent the audience from watching the play while some booed and threw pieces of paper at the actors from the Mladinsko Theatre Ljubljana. The protesters were eventually thrown out of the theatre by riot police.
Czech Cardinal Dominik Duka has condemned the festival in a letter on behalf of other bishops, from featuring the play. The theatre festival has resisted demands the play be withdrawn from the programme. Based on “The Aesthetics of Resistance” by Peter Weis, “Our Violence and your Violence” is Frljic’s comment on Fascism and Islamophobia.

Update: On 29 of May the Mladinsko Theatre has sent a letter of protest to the Embassy of the Czech Republic in Ljubljana. The theatre declares “that the Brno police, the instrument of Czech authorities, did not come to prevent the violence and protect freedom of speech and artistic expression, but were rather waiting for the violence to happen before they reacted.”

Sources: N1, MDR Kultur, Radio Prague, Mladinsko Theatre

Actor Baris Atay arrested in Turkey

German-born actor and playwright Baris Atay was arrested by Turkish police officers two days ago. There was no reason announced for the arrest. Yet it can be seen as a reaction to critical remarks by Atay via twitter when he commented on Yusuf Yerkel, an advisor to president Erdogan.

Recently, after years of performing in his one-man show “Only A Dictator”, Baris Atay has also been banned from the stage in several Turkish cities.

Sources: English report on Cumhuiryet , German report on taz

Guide on Visas for Schengen Area

After Social Security, Artist Taxation, VAT and Copyright Clearing for Live Events the fifth booklet of the series – Visas for Third Country National Artists Travelling to the Schengen Area was officially presented by Pearle*– Live Performance Europe on the 12 April 2018 in Ljubljana in the frame of the EFA Arts Festivals Summit 2018.

The booklet explains who needs a visa to travel to the Schengen area, the validity of a Schengen visa, types of visa and application procedure. It also gives useful tips for applicants and organisers in the cultural sector.

Download (PDF)

Proud Performing Arts ITI Workgroup

The Proud Performing Arts ITI Workgroup, initiated at the ITI World Congress in July 2017, is starting up. This workgroup will engage in building a global network that aims to empower, encourage and elevate performing arts with a LGBTQ+ perspective and artists working with the matter. The network will be a platform for solidarity and inspiration striving to bring forward the different conditions for LGBTQ+ people all around the world.

  • Proud Performing Arts should be a platform for exchanging experiences.
  • Proud Performing Arts should facilitate distribution of and make visible performing arts with a LGBTQ+ perspective.
  • Proud Performing Arts should inspire to exchange between artists, producers and presenters.

Urgent call: looking for Proud Performing Arts guests at EuroPride 2018
During EuroPride in Stockholm 1-3 August 2018 the workgroup is planning to hold the first network-meeting and would like to invite everyone are interested in working actively with these issues to join. The working group is also looking for lgbtq+ performers to come and take part of the program and perhaps join in workshops and panel talks. Financial means are available from the Swedish Institute to support the visit from specific countries.

Contact via the Swedish ITI: Katinka Richter at katinka@scensverige.se o rMaja Alasalmi at maja@scensverige.se