12 Palestinian artists to come to Edinburgh Fringe Festival

David Greig

David Greig

Scotland has flexed it’s muscled here big time, through London stopping this through Israeli means, before a newer devolved Scotland now has the power to allow Palestine act’s into our amazing Fringe Festival <Click) The power the 80% of Countries who want to recognise Palestine now is huge, Palestine is bring stopped from being recognised in order for her to be her own Country by Israel, USA and England in the main. I won’t bore you with Country breakdown’s but here is who supports Palestine in our World <Click) Shame on you Countries on that list who abstained or said NO! How dare you! Well I am just happy to live in a Country that can now stand in solidarity with the stood upon! Why, because right now, as I type, London is TRYING to oppress Scotland. They will fail and by 2020 Scotland WILL 100% be a free Country, BUT! Palestine will be free 1st, now who on Earth wants to stop this progress? Well these ones! How dare you! 80% of Humanity just want to recognise Palestine! 1 Book stops them. How dare you!

~~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.

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.

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.”

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