Zoe Kopp-Program Director
Namaya – Performance artist & poet
9 September 2014
Re: Witness to Genocide: Israel/ Palestine: A JOURNEY TO PEACE
PUTNEY FRIENDS MEETING, PUTNEY, Vt 26 September 2014 7PM
“Witness to Genocide: ISRAEL/ PALESTINE: A JOURNEY TO PEACE” will be performed in Putney at the Friends Meeting House on September 26th at 7 pm. This is a multimedia performance on the narrative of the Jewish Diaspora, the Palestinian people, and the Israeli occupation of Palestine (West Bank and Gaza.) The performance combines stories, music, poetry, photography, and art based on Namaya’s story of living and working in Yemen, Morocco, and his travels through Palestine, Israel, and the Islamic world. Namaya also speaks of his Jewish family’s journey out of Eastern Europe through such stories as “L’Chaim” and of Jewish life during the Diaspora. Namaya said, “I tell this story out of necessity. In witnessing the destruction of our Jewish communities through pogroms and the holocaust, having touched the walls of Prague and Budapest with the names of my extended family who perished, and also seeing the present inhumane occupation of Palestine… I am obligated to tell this story and hope to create an opportunity for peace.
A trailer sample can be viewed at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5CltHSUoHr0&feature=plcp
Ayman Nijim, a Gazan, and well known speaker on human rights and Palestine will also perform and help to facilitate a discussion about the future for Palestine and Israel. There is an opportunity for all to join in this discussion in the spirit of compassionate listening.
Namaya has performed portions of WITNESS in Palestine at the Al-Rowadd Theater, at the Fellowship of Reconciliation in NY, at the Yemen Embassy in Washington D.C., and at colleges and universities in the USA. He has performed on tour in other performances in Europe, Asia, New Zealand, Australia, and the Middle East. Further information can be found at www.namayaproductions.com/witness.
A review of Witness to Genocide from the Fellowship of Reconciliation captured how impactful art can be in helping us undersand this centuries old conflict:
“The Fellowship of Reconciliation was privileged to host the debut public presentation of Namaya’s Witness to Genocide: Israel Palestine: Journey to Peace. From the moment of entry to the multimedia performance space, provocative and emotional questions that Namaya poses force the audience to move from dispassionate observer to engaged participant. Passing through a “security checkpoint,” we are reminded of the walls that divide us — both in the Middle East and at home — and we become fellow prisoners of circumstance. Through heartbreaking and heartwarming poetry and prose, Namaya shares insights of a life spent on the political and religious margins, in conflict zones such as Israel, Palestine, Yemen, and North America. Most of all, as an artist and a public intellectual, he sees his work not as a static statement, but as a starting point for open and frank conversation — welcoming a dynamic exchange, with critics and supporters alike, in a collaborative forum to envision a just and peaceful world.” Ethan Vesely-Flad
Suggested donation for the performance is $15 which will help support the B4 Peace Initiative of GRACE Cares. Tickets available at the door. The show is Friday, September 26, 2014, 7 pmat Putney Friend’s Meeting, 17 Bellow’s Falls Road (Route 5) Putney, VT. For more information contact email@example.com or 802-380-3483.
In the journey of peace,
Zoe Kopp and Namaya
Program Director for Namaya Productions & www.warisporn.us
BIO: Namaya is an internationally known performance artist & poet who has performed in Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and throughout the USA. As a peace activist, artist, and musician he combines his commitment to peace and social justice with his writings, performances, and art. With the NPI Team, he creates community projects for peace, and works with grass roots community development programs in Third world countries with his foundation – www.gracecares.com.
Namaya’s art projects have been on exhibit in: Mexico at the Wings of Peace show; The Wall Project and End the Occupation appeared in Boston, New York at the Clearwater Festival; and OWS NYC with his Trillion Dollar Penis project. www.namayaproductions.com and www.warisporn.us. The 100 Flowers of Peacepoem has been translated into 100 languages, winner of the European Language Day award, and is at peace centers around the world such as the Peace Abbey, St. John the Divine, and Fellowship of Reconciliation. He was in residence with the B4 Peace team in Santiago Chile, at the Peace/ Human Rights center creating the performance MEMORIA.HABLAR.DIGNIDAD. in 2013.
He is a former graduate instructor in Cross Cultural Communications, a Certified Conflict Resolution trainer, and has worked in the Middle East and North Africa as a community development specialist. Namaya said, “I am committed to engaging communities in conversations about peace, & social justice, through art, and performance. I believe in creating loving rEvolutions. War is not the answer to resolving conflicts.”
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