Yearly Archives: 2013

Josephine Witt: Six Weeks Internship at the Munathara Initiative in Tunis

Unfortunately, this report is available only in German.  

Film Evening on the Roadshow of Art/ Violence

Screening of ART/VIOLENCE with supporting program, on 27.11 at 19 o'clock (Corona Kinoplex, Kaufbeuren in Allgäu/Bavaria) The film ART/VIOLENCE documents the time after the murder of Juliano Mer-Khamis (2011), a peace activist and founder of the Freedom Theatre in the Palestinian refugee camp of Jenin. In a compound of interviews, scenes from the theater, flashbacks and animations, the film documents old as well as new theater projects, but also the difficulties and challenges that the young actors and actresses are facing in their work. The screening is embeded in a supporting program. This begins with a short introduction of Dr. Anja Gebel (14 kms), followed by a talk with Christian Artner-Schedler (Pax Christ) on the subject "work for peace in Palestina and Israel" as well as a public discussion.                                  The distribution and the Roadshow of ART/ VIOLENCE were made possible thanks to the political development film award 'CINEMA fairbindet', donated by the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). Distribution and Roadshow were realized by the Arsenal Institute of Cinematography and Videoart. The project 'CINEMA fairbindet' is implemented by the German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ). Cooperation partner: DW academy   More informations about the movie :  An artist is shot. Juliano Mer-Khamis - peace activist, director and actor - died in 2011 in front of his theater, in the refugee camp of Jenin. The refugee camp of Jenin is near the city of the same name in the north, in the West Bank, which is occupied by Israel since 1967. With more than 12.000 inhabitants, it is one of the biggest Palestinian refugee camps. To date the murder is still not clarified. Mer-Khamis, the son of a Jewish mother and a Palestinian father, led the Freedom Theatre since 2006 and fought with the means of art against the hopelessness and the violence in the refugee camp. Besides, the theater represented for him a possibility to offer a stage to artists, despite their nationality or gender. The film "Art/Violence" documents the period in the Freedom Theatre after Juliano Mer-Khamis' murder: What they should do with his legacy? How can they handle the powerless feelings of sorrow and rage? How can they go on with the theater? In a compund of interviews, scenes from the theater, recordings of a hip-hop concert, flashbacks and animations, the film documents old as well as new theater projects, but also the difficulties and challenges that the young actors and actresses are facing in their work. The structure of the film "Art/Violence" is divided in three chapters which refer in each case to a project of the Freedom Theatre: Alice in Wonderland (Lewis Carrol,1865) Alice, the heroine of the story, follows a speaking, white rabbit in a fantastic journey in a wonderland full of oppositions and absurdities, a journey in which all known order systems are gradually broke up. In the adaptation from the Freedom Theatre, Alice escapes from her reality of poverty and oppression. In the wonderland, she meets characters who bring her to think over her own identity and to question what is "correct" and what is "wrong", what "is "normal" and what is "abnormal ». "The last piece that Jul' directed before his murder was Alice in Wonderland. I was the 'red queen' who is the ruler in Wonderland and who controls everyone. She represents leaders, for example Barak or Abu Mazen." (Mariam Abu Khaled)  Waiting for Godot (Samuel Beckett, 1952) In While Waiting, the Freedom Theatre's new interpretation of Waiting for Godot, the spectator waits for the never appearing Godot with the protagonists Didi and Gogo. The reality shown in the film as well as the theater play are full of insecurity. The stay offers the firm belief that a sense lies in the fact of waiting for Godot. "Even if we are actresses in a theater which is no theater, in a homeland which is not a homeland, in a country which is not a country, it shows the fact that we have interpreted While Waiting as Palestinian women, that we have gained our rights. Those rights, which were taken from us, those rights we have abandoned." (Batoul Taleb) Waiting for Godot is one of the most-quoted examples of absurd theater. Beckett's obstinacy for a strict fidelity to actors and actresses gender in the roles distribution is well known, however the Freedom Theater team went against that will with a feminine cast for the male parts. The piece refers to questions about the meaning of life in the view of invariant and unexplicable processes. The new interpretation deals with powerlessness feelings and thematises gender problems.  Antigone (Sophocles, in or before 442 v. Chr.) The heroine of the piece, Antigone, goes against the will of her uncle, the king Kreo. She buries the body of her brother, who Kreo executed on grounds of high treason and then who's funeral was forbidden. For having done that, Kreo sentences Antigone to death. When Kreo finally changes his mind because of the warning of the Gods revenge, it is already too late, Antigone has killed herself. "Before the murder of Juliano, we had begun to work on Antigone in Jenin, a film from which we hoped that it would have been able to represent the complexity of the death for art, for women's rights and for the liberation from Israeli occupation" (UdiAloni) This third and last chapter in the film follows the 12-year-old daughter of Juliano Mer-Khamis, Milay Mer, who undertakes - a year after the death of her father - to fulfil one her unrealized dreams: the cinematic adaptation of Antigone. She meets in Jaffa the well-known actors Saleh Bakri and Amer Hlelel as well as Udi Aloni, Mariam Abu Khaled and Batoul Taleb to turn a crucial scene. Her free interpretation thematises the patriarchal structure of the society in the Palestinian zones, by means of the question, whether and how freely an actress on the stage may develop her own expression styles.     Festivals and Awards Panorama of the Berlinale 2013 – World Premiere / Winner of the CINEMA fairbindet Prize Cinema South Festival (Sderot, Israel) – Prize of Juliano The Jerusalem International Film Festival (Jerusalem, Israel) Documentarist Film Festival (Istanbul, Turkey) Montreal International Documentary Festival – RIDM (Montreal, Canada) MedFilm Festival Rome – Winner of the “Open Eyes Award 2013″  

Fionn Herold about his internship at the High Atlas Foundation in Morocco

"In September 2013 I conducted an internship at the High Atlas Foundation, one of the organizations in the 14km volunteer programme. 14km had facilitated the contact and position according to my preferences and the environment-related degree I study in Austria. After two days working and volunteering in the office of the High Atlas Foundation (HAF) in Marrakech I got the opportunity to spend three weeks in Amsouzerte which is located in the Tifnout Valley of the High Atlas Mountains, close to Mount Toubkal and Lake Ifni. At my arrival it was dark and I could not see   where I was. So I had to wait until the next morning to see the picturesque valley with a river paving its way through, passing vegetated terraces, trees ready for the harvest and the clay made houses of the region - all of it surrounded by rocky mountains. But not only that; I also realized that I am going to stay here in this beautiful area for the next three weeks speaking no word of Tashelhyt, Arabic or French. This could only become an exciting cross-cultural stay, which is what I asked for! On the first day El Mahjoub, the head of the family I was living with, showed me around the village. He introduced me to a dozen people and after came the same amount of invitations for tea. Fatima then showed up; she is HAF's community planning facilitator and supports the organic agricultural project. She was the one who watched out for me. At the moment she is responsible for 48 villages in the area and very busy with the certification of walnut and almond trees. The first week Fatima tried to give me a few insights into her work. Every morning after breakfast Fatima also gave me some lessons in Tashelhyt, before we went to visit some villages, project sites or people to meet. So, I was quite well prepared for my stay. This was the time when communication became interesting; especially with the older men, it took me a while until we were able to interact with eachother, not only sitting there in silence. Out of these difficulties some made up stories arose, spreading very fast around the whole village. One was that I am the son of Yossef, the President of the Foundation who had spent some time in the area in the 1990s as a Peace Corps Volunteer. With the younger generation it was quite easy to talk. They had patience, curiosity, were not afraid of ridiculous situations and were happy teachers too. Mohammed was one of them. He drives a very old French Berliet truck and is employed by El Mahjoub. During the second week he was so kind to take me with him to his work. We started early in the morning, driving in the river bed. We had to get soil, hidden between many different sized stones onto the truck. Then it was time to get back onto the truck, heading on narrow dirt roads into the mountains, where the terrain drops down steeply, to deliver the load. That was the time when I slowly got a bit of an insight into people's daily life. It consists of a lot of physical work and the roles are strictly allocated whereupon you don't exactly know whose part the harder one is. While the women are busy with cooking, caring for the kids and the households, the men are dealing with cutting wood, construction work and other labor, often assisted by mules or donkeys. Mohammed was also the one who introduced me in the secret of preparing the well known mint tea, also called Moroccan Whisky, consisting of one-third of sugar, which can be a real spectacle/show. In the evening I met with the guys to play football, or went up the mountains to witness the sunsetting, throwing a nice light onto the valley and its villages, where Amsouzerte is the nicest one of all, having the most beautiful landscape with a lot of green vegetation. When the HAF's Vice President arrived, we examined tree nurseries, had a look at some other sites were HAF is working and talk to people who are responsible for monitoring the quality of the trees. Even with little language skills, it was very interesting for me to get a better understanding of the Foundation's approach. And suddenly the last days of this wonderful stay came. But it was not the end yet. Fatima had some impressive moments to share, when we helped the women collecting walnuts and when she took me to a remote village where she showed me the lives of a very old couple that had to live separated, due to illness. Finally I had to leave this place where everyone is welcome and where everybody takes care of you without knowing you and your background, your attitude and work, and without a common language; a place where you don't know what would happen in the next minute or what the next day would bring." The published reports by interns/volunteers on their internships facilitated by 14km e.V. do not necessarily reflect the opinion of 14km e.V. or its partners.

A two-months internship with 14km e.V. in Berlin – Johanna Kramer reports

This was our fourth Arab Film and Discussion Evening (Jordan)

Last Thursday 14km e.V. successfully conducted the fourth evening of our Arab Film and Discussion Series. We were happy to welcome around 70 participants for our film evening on Jordan, of which 30 came as part of a German-Jordanian student exchange (organised by Bürger Europas e.V. with the support of the German Foreign Office). In the cosy atmosphere of stove-heated Filmrauschpalast cinema inside the Kulturfabrik in Berlin Moabit we screened the film “Recycle” which tells the story of an ex jihadist who lives in one of the poorest areas of the Jordanian city Zarqa. He collects waste-paper in order to make a living for himself and his family – difficult circumstances in which religion is an important foothold for him. But the lack of social and economic prospects and permanent setbacks drive him to the brink of desperation. After the screening the film was lively discussed by the present Jordanians, especially with regards to the question whether the film characters and their lives are representative for the Jordanian society or not. The following panel talk and the audience discussion with the guest speakers Hanna Al-Taher and Dima Al-Kuttu focused on the one hand on Jordan as an immigration country and current target of numerous refugees from Syria, and on the other hand on social and political transformations in the country since 2005 and 2011. The event was presented by Anja Gebel (14km e.V.). We cordially thank all participants for the interest and vivid participation, and the Filmrauschpalast team for the excellent preparation and technical support!