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Posts Tagged ‘UN’

Monday NYC Theatre, 2005: “From Tel Aviv To Ramallah”

In 21st Century Culture, FOR YOUR CONSIDERSTION, Millennial Generation, NEW!, NEWS AND COMMENTARY on June 29, 2011 at 10:24 AM

From Tel Aviv To Ramallah  was a production I attended, spontaneously and alone, on a rainy Monday night in Manhattan, late 2005.  As many theatre patrons know, Mondays are the day of the week when many theaters are dark (no performance.) But sometimes, these are the best opportunities to catch the magic of live theatre. And here’s how I managed to catch this one particular night which resonates more and more with each passing year.

Here in New York City, a smorgasbord awaits the avid theater-goer. Even if you are on a budget (students or starving, Bohemian artists; or cash-poor adventurers, like me,) folks have ways of getting tickets. The catch is, most discounts demand the person be ready to go the day-of the performance.

Well, there’s a reason why I love seeing theatre, at the last minute, with no expectations. To elaborate, The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict inspired a number New Plays Off-Broadway and Off-Off-Broadway in 2005 and I found myself trying to attend as many as possible. A handful of these plays challenged perceptions, offered insight, a human story, all those things that made other productions worth the risk. To bluntly put it: if I allowed the synopses and especially, the critical reviews, to pick and choose which productions I saw then, I’d have missed the best one.

The habits for overtly political theatre may be a time honored tradition in theatre history but what is it more akin to in the 21st Century? What politics are we addressing and how?

Every time we sit down for a performance arts piece, centered around modern day conflicts and cultural-politico-socio-ideologies, we risk exposing ourselves to the moribundity of Populist Theatre. (Not just theatrical mediums but all media and its audiences are more easily are mistaking political for populist propaganda.) A bad-habit we are all forming, because it is becoming all to “normal.”

That is, to employ mechanisms like “definitive archetypes,” portraying only selective pieces of information, building upon one opinion, one perception of a war, stereotyping each of the cultures involved. Pounding cheap, theoretical conjecture into an audience already over-saturated in Op/Ed news and information.

In the case of certain productions about the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict and also, the War On Terror, the human experience serves only to cater for the intent of Populism. To add emotional impact, ignite the zeitgeist, am I correct?

A reflection of the humanist struggle when the forces of Political or Cultural Movements subsume a person’s existence?

See, this is why I like walking into a production, understanding the risk, not knowing much about it, and hoping for a jewel.

As part of the Out Loud: New Play Reading Series at Ars Nova in 2005, the show From Tel Aviv To Ramallah performed for only that one night. And for those 75 minutes or so…  Man, I wish I could bring Yuri Lane and his solo production here, today, for people to see. I think its message is more important than ever.

At a small but inviting performance venue on 54th, between 10th and 11th Avenue, I took my seat among the small audience. Two young men, maybe 16 years old, were sitting in front of me, excited to see their favorite beatbox performer and drinking Red Bull. They came in from Connecticut. They were not expecting a powerful piece of theatre and neither was I.

Yuri Lane avoided all the aforementioned pitfalls for the Political and Populist Theatre productions. He did it simply. With minimal design, he told us a story. Using his skills with beatbox, language, rhythm, gesture; using three light cues to distinguish SR, SL and Center; finally inverted pictures, multimedia projected on the backdrop, he set the scene for a fable about one young man from Tel Aviv and one young man from Ramallah.

Instead of showing us who was wrong and who was right, he told us of Amir and of Khalid. The idea that dreams and ideals of youth exist in separate microcosms outside the larger reality of (the Israeli-Palestinian) conflict set the story in motion. We learn about two different, but also similar people, whose goals are not unlike yours or mine. One wants to be a DJ. One wants to own an Internet Cafe. They share the threat of attacks. And their journey shows how a gradual diffusion of the greater reality into each microcosm, negates the youthful idealism for a future independent of violence and injustice. Both have their dreams compromised. Both must transition from adolescent to adulthood. Both must face each other in the end and the choices they make, leading them to the final moment of the play. A vision of peace comes down to two young men, who make one choice. Peace, perhaps, may not be realized by Treaties or United Nations intervening, or a great leader’s solution, but perhaps, it begins with a choice. An understanding.

And the audience is left without any clear answer about who is right, who is wrong and why one side is bad versus the other. Why would we presume an understanding? How to solve the permutations of a conflict, as deep and complicated as the Israeli-Palestinian hostilities?

Rachel Havrelock wrote and directed this play.

Is our civilization so solid that you do not fear to shake the pillars on which it rests? Can you not see that all falls in upon you if one column be shattered? Could you not have learned if not to love one another, at least to tolerate the great virtues and the great vices of each other? Was it not your duty to attempt –you have never attempted it in sincerity– to settle amicably the questions which divided you, the problem of peoples annexed against their will, the equitable division of productive labor and the riches of the world? Must the stronger forever darken the others with the shadow of his pride, and the others forever unite to dissipate it? Is there no end to this bloody and puerile sport, in which the partners change about from century to century– no end, until the whole of humanity is exhausted thereby?

ROMAIN ROLLAND, “Above The Battle,”

Journal de Geneve_, September 15, 1914.

24 Hours To Save Sakineh: Stoning A Woman To Death?

In 21st Century Culture, FOR YOUR CONSIDERSTION, NEWS AND COMMENTARY on November 3, 2010 at 11:30 AM

Have You Heard Iran WILL STONE TO DEATH Sakineh TODAY?

•••

In a few hours, maybe a day, Iran will execute Sakineh Ashtiani.

Please petition thru Amnesty Organizations and thru the links below.

ººº

Click the link below to send an urgent call to action — it only takes three minutes and we are her last chance:

http://freesakineh.org This website provides links to news coverage, and over 350,000 names who have signed the petition to stop Iran from stoning and executing Sakineh Ashtiani. Among them are names you know and this site can be trusted.

An emergency message is easy to send to Iran’s allies and key UN powers urging them to intervene and help save Sakineh’s life.  Sending a message NOW may save a woman from being STONED TO DEATH

PLEASE CLICK THE LINK BELOW TO SEND A MESSAGE & FOR PHONE NUMBERS TO INTERNATIONAL EMBASSIES AND REPRESENTATIVES:

http://www.avaaz.org/en/24h_to_save_sakineh/98.php?CLICKTF

PLEASE HELP SEND A MESSAGE, IT’S ALMOST TOO LATE

(UPDATE, 3-NOV)

For a complete report on the entire case, I recommend this article from The Guardian, here.

2-NOV PRESIDENT OBAMA, US CITIZENS, ARE YOU PAYING ATTENTION??

IRANIAN REGIME NEVER SENTENCED HER TO EXECUTION

UPDATE: SKY NEWS REPORTING SHE WILL “HANG” BUT STONING STILL POSSIBLE


Our global outcry stopped her unjust stoning sentence in July. Now we have 24 hours to save her life.

Iran’s allies and key UN powers are our best hope — they could persuade Iran of the serious political cost of this high-profile killing.

Sakineh’s adultery case is a tragic sham stacked with human rights violations. First, she was to be stoned to death. But the Iranian government had to revoke the sentence after her children generated a tremendous outcry against the farcical trial — she could not speak the language used in court, and the alleged incidents of adultery took place after her husband’s death.

Then her lawyer was forced into exile, and the prosecution conjured up a new trumped-up charge for which she would be executed — the murder of her husband. Despite this being double jeoprady, as she is already serving time for alleged complicity in this crime, Sakineh was tortured and paraded on national television to ‘confess’, and was found guilty. The regime has now arrested two German journalists, her lawyer and her son, who has bravely led the international campaign to save his mother. All remain in prison and Sakineh’s son and lawyer have been also tortured and have no access to lawyers.

READ FURTHER, CITATION SOURCES INCLUDED

UPDATE (04:18 EST): Hamid Ashani has aggregated many stories over the past 48 hours about the global out-cry against the execution. Please see the site, IRAN DAILY NEWS

UPDATE: (16:27 EST) No word on whether Iranian Regime has either carried out the execution or whether they will respond to International Community’s Outcry IS THE TIMING ANY ACCIDENT

*

Now Iranian human rights activists state an order has just been issued from Tehran to implement her killing immediately, she is on the list and tomorrow is execution day.

Persistent campaigning led Iran to drop Sakineh’s stoning sentence and captured the attention of leaders in countries with influence on Iran, like Turkey and Brazil. Now let’s urgently raise our voices to stop her killing and inhumane treatment and free her, her lawyer, her son and the jailed German journalists.

http://www.avaaz.org/en/24h_to_save_sakineh/98.php?CLICKTF

A massive public outcry has the moral authority to stop heinous crimes. Let’s use these 24 hours to send a clear message — the world is watching and we all stand together today to save Sakineh’s life and against injustice everywhere.

With hope and determination,

Alice, Stephanie, Pascal, Giulia, Benjamin

and the whole of the Avaaz team

Sources:

The Islamic regime of Iran plans to execute Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani immediately

http://stopstonningnow.com/wpress/4194

Sakineh hanging imminent

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/world/fears-that-alleged-adulterers-execution-by-hanging-is-imminent/story-e6frg6so-1225946610965

Iranian woman could be stoned Wednesday

http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5hipKgm5UqJOxciOi1f07BwbfRgFg?docId=CNG.6ef6de7af5f33847d19e690e61087c73.811

Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani: A life in the Balance (Amnesty International)

http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/asset/MDE13/089/2010/en/589bd56b-49ac-4028-8dc6-abd903ac9bac/mde130892010en.pdf

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