- Title: WEST BANK: Palestinians use Animal Farm play to criticize local politics
- Date: 6th April 2009
- Summary: AUDIENCE
- Embargoed: 21st April 2009 13:00
- Topics: Entertainment,Domestic Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA1K8XUNSOEJ3RFBPKNCW945LLI
- Story Text: Palestinian Freedom Theatre use the characters of the Animal Farm to criticize local politics.
George Orwell's novel Animal Farm, is performed with a Palestinian flavour in the Jenin refugee camp.
The play uses Orwell's famous story to criticise the Palestinian interior political situation and discuss Palestinian history.
"The play is about how some animals suffered because of humans and their oppression, and how they all gathered together to rebel against this oppression and tyranny. This is similar to our reality as a Palestinian people," said Project co-ordinator at the Freedom Theatre, Samia Stiti.
The Freedom Theatre are performing the production for local school students.
"The theatre is a mirror of what is happening. The play alerts people who will take power and who already have authority, that there is a possibility, if we don't take care of ourselves, our principles, our political positions; We will only kill each other, execute each other, try each other and imprison each other, becoming like the Animal farm of George Orwell,"
said Juliano Mer Khamis, director of the Freedom Theatre.
In scene one of the play, Farmer Jones kills the animals' leader. In the second scene, the animals rally around a revolutionary pig named Snowball, who leads an uprising against their master "Jones".
"Our idea is to (portray) something small from our society, the reality that we face. The pigs controlled the farm, and it was the same with or without Jones, it didn't matter to us," said actress, Dana Jarar.
"Intifada!" the animals scream, using the Palestinian word of the uprising which took place all around Palestinian territories and Arab Israeli cities in 1987 and 2000.
A former militant in the second uprising in 2000; Rabi Turkman; finds the theatre another way to fight after he gave up his weapon in 2007.
"I think the theatre is like a revolution. Having the theatre in Jenin refugee camp is the biggest revolution for Palestine. When I carry a weapon, I don't carry it because I want to die. None of the martyrs or fugitives carried their weapons to die, we carried our weapons because we believe in freedom," Turkman said.
The play which represents a challenge to Palestinian traditions, is a production of Freedom Theatre which was founded by Mer Khamis's mother, Arna, in 1980. The original theatre building was destroyed in 2002 during the Israeli raid on Jenin the camp.
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