Les Amis du Théâtre de la Liberté de Jénine (ATLJ) was established in 2006, after a presentation of Juliano Mer Khamis’ film ‘Arna’s Children’, in a momentum of solidarity for the cultural resistance to the Israeli occupation of Palestine. All members of ATLJ are active in the solidarity movement for the rights of the Palestinian people.
Les Amis du Théâtre de la Liberté de Jénine intends to act within the cultural struggle defined by two major voices, that of Edward Saïd:
“The power of culture against the culture of power”
and that of Arna Mer Khamis:
“There is no freedom without knowledge
There is no peace without freedom
Peace and freedom are inseparable”
- Help children from the Jenin refugee camp to take part in cultural activities and to get another vision than that imposed by the occupation
- Promote The Freedom Theatre outside Palestine
- Collect money to contribute to the construction and equipment of the theatre building
- Support The Freedom Theatre’s development through the Acting School, international tours etc.
- Help The Freedom Theatre to host performances by companies from abroad, particularly from France, with the aim of creating new links.
For the first two years of our existence, we focused on spreading information about The Freedom Theatre in France through public meetings and screenings. Since then, we have mainly focused on organizing tours for The Freedom Theatre in France. We are also doing some fundraising through public meetings and applications to grants from foundations.
In August 2011, at a time when The Freedom Theatre was harassed and several staff members arrested and detained, we launched a petition demanding an immediate ending of attacks against The Freedom Theatre and its staff; the release of anybody linked to The Freedom Theatre being detained or charged by the Israeli occupation authorities; action on the part of Palestinian judicial authorities to investigate on Juliano Mer Khamis’ assassination; Compensation from Israeli authorities for the damages caused when they attacked the theatre on July 27 and August 22, 2011; and complete freedom of movement for The Freedom Theatre’s members, in Palestine, Israel or elsewhere. This petition was signed by more than 2 000 people, among them many renowned artists.
Sonia Fayman, chairperson
Zahia Oumakhlouf, vice chairperson