‘Atuwani’ means to wait patiently. While settlements loom on the top of Atuwani’s hills, the inhabitants of this small community in Area C tell their stories of patience and struggle – of waiting patiently for the day when all what is theirs will get back to its original owners.
In Atuwani we meet a multitude of characters: the woman who stands in front of the army when they come to tear down the kindergarten that the villagers built, the children who are accused of stealing cherries from the land that belongs to them – now taken by settlers, of the man who is arrested for grazing his sheep on his own land and eventually makes the police beg him to leave the police station, and of the villagers who force a settler to return a stolen wheel painted in Palestinian colours. In the words of one villager: “It’s not about money, it’s about principles.”
Following the success of Our Sign is the Stone, based on stories from the village Nabi Saleh, The Freedom Theatre returns to Area C to document the life and resistance of people in Atuwani in the South Hebron Hills. The play follows extensive research and interviews with community members, with a special focus on the women who play a central role in Atuwani’s struggle. The production team aimed to understand why the struggle has been successful in Atuwani, despite so many obstacles. Out of all the interviews made, three themes ran through all of the accounts: humanity, resistance and organization.
Atuwani is made possible through support from Sida, as part of the PAN program, the British Council, the European Union and Arab Fund for Arts and Culture.