The Freedom Theatre’s latest title, ‘Rehearsing Freedom: The Story of a Theatre in Palestine’ is a visual journey through the first ten years of the work and life of The Freedom Theatre. This volume presents, for the first time, the story of The Freedom Theatre in its own voice, through rare archival photographs and text. It is a precious record of multifarious challenges facing the cultural resistance movement in Palestine, and the ability of a group of determined people to undertake creation under occupation.
‘Rehearsing Freedom’ is published by LeftWord Books in association with The Freedom Theatre. It is edited by Johanna Wallin and designed by Sherna Dastur. ‘Rehearsing Freedom’ is available with LeftWord Books (don’t miss out on the 30% member discount!) and at The Freedom Theatre.
“One of the most incredible books I have experienced in recent times. It’s alive, it’s moving in your hands, under your eyes, and it creates spaces for conversations as you turn the pages. The politics of resistance forms the spine of this book and creates its arguments and audacity through the multi-shaped pages of images and text. History is narrated not through linearities of time but with an understanding of the connectedness of thoughts and actions; of ideas, positions and their manifestations. It is a story of resistance through the arts in occupied zones, that breathes through the design and production of the book and not just through its content or substance. To me this is a ‘book’, an ‘installation’, as well as an ‘archive’. This is a celebration of ‘book making’ as resistance.” — Arundhati Ghosh, Executive Director, India Foundation for the Arts
“This book has a quality of an essay, but does not follow the conventional structure of an essay. Usually, one expects a chronology of events in a biographical text. This book does not follow the linear timeline. Purposefully selected and placed texts, and photographs break the spatial and temporal boundaries without losing the context. The design of the book is such that it keeps the sequence of events at play-forward-pause-rewind mode. This departure from the linear narrative is one of the strengths of the book. […] Sometimes such a book can make its readers take a condescending approach especially, when it is about an organisation that works in extraordinary circumstances and has faced violence so closely. But this book, neither lets its reader become patronising, nor does it let Palestinians come across as victims. Reading this visual biography of first ten years of TFT makes you angry, sad, inspired and hopeful. Not for a moment it lets you pity the Palestinian. It talks about the cracks of possibilities through which a whole new generation of cultural freedom fighters have been built and rebuilt.” Komita Dhanda, theatre
“This little theatre could change the world.” Howard Brent, playwright
Another volume, published later in the year, also by LeftWord Books, complements this visual book: an anthology of texts by The Freedom Theatre and people close to us. Much like ‘Rehearsing Freedom’, the anthology aims to critically reflect on The Freedom Theatre’s first decade, in our own words.