“My dream is that The Freedom Theatre will be a major force, cooperating with others in generating a cultural resistance, carrying on its shoulders universal values of freedom and justice.” ~ Juliano Mer Khamis
The Freedom Theatre was co-founded by Jewish Israeli actor/director Juliano Mer Khamis, Zacharia Zubeidi and other residents of Jenin Camp and was inspired by Juliano’s mother Arna Mer, whose psychodrama therapy workshops during the 1980s and ’90s with Jenin Camp children suffering PTSD, including Zacharia in his youth, and lifelong activism for the liberty and dignity of the Palestinian people are documented in the film Arna’s Children.
“Using the arts as a model for social change, The Freedom Theatre is developing the only professional venue for theatre and arts in the north of the Occupied Palestinian Territories…. The aim of this project is to empower and give voice to the children of Jenin Refugee Camp through a unique program of workshops and activities in theatre, supporting arts and multi-media, and ranging in their emphasis from the largely therapeutic and healing to the presentation of high-quality artistic products.”
Through its work, The Freedom Theatre aims to:
- provide the children of Jenin Refugee Camp with a space in which boys and girls can equally and safely express themselves, dare to experiment, take risks, imagine other realities and challenge existing social and cultural barriers
- empower children to find new ways of solving problems and to develop the confidence needed to face the hardships of their everyday reality
- address the cultural isolation that limits access to the wider Palestinian and global communities
- demonstrate a model of artistic excellence in theatre and the arts.” (www.thefreedomtheatre.org)
The Freedom Bus
The Siege’ receives outstanding praise on UK tour
Journey of a Freedom Fighter’ screened at international festivals
Juliano Mer Khamis in his own words — Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch.
Jenin’s Freedom Theatre Celebrates 10 Years. What’s Next for Cultural Resistance? — the 10th anniversary festival with Omar Barghouti, Ilan Pappe, Mazin Qumsiyeh and other Palestinian and Israeli activists.