Our joint production with Jana Natya Manch, Hamesha Samida (Forever Steadfast) is the highlight of the Freedom Jatha project and is now in the midst of a tour that will be visiting eleven cities in India and performing over 30 times. This play – which has come out of an intense process that is the first theatrical collaboration between India and Palestine – has already sparked many conversations about theatre and resistance.
The Freedom Jatha adventure began in October 2015 when The Freedom Theatre’s team arrived in India for an intensive, diverse program of workshops with Indian theatre practitioners, interactions with Indian students, artists and activists, field visits and rehearsals. Since December 18 the team has been touring India, performing and interacting with diverse audiences. The encounters thus far have been full of wonderful conversations, careful listening and many insightful questions.
In Jhandapur, Hamesha Samida was performed as part of the annual memorial of Jana Natya Manch co-founder Safdar Hashmi on January 1st. Hashmi was killed in 1989 in Shahibabad while on stage with Jana Natya Manch. 27 years later, The Freedom Theatre was honoured to be able to perform in Safdar Hashmi’s memory, together with his comrades from Jana Natya Manch.
In Mumbai, the Freedom Jatha team performed at four different locations, including one performance in front of an audience of some 2500 people. Now the Freedom Jatha has moved on to Kerala.
We are incredibly touched by the love, support, solidarity we are receiving everywhere. So many friends have worked so hard to make each stop on the tour so special for the Freedom Jatha team. To them and to everyone we have met so far, we are grateful beyond words! Thank you for making the Freedom Jatha such an extraordinary journey.
«We Palestinians have a special relationship with India. People here know what it means to live under oppression, especially the older generation. We are fighting for freedom just like you did. We have learnt about Gandhi and his resistance. We have huge respect for him. I feel sad that the current Indian government is supporting Israel for economic considerations. But I know that it does not represent the Indian street.” Faisal Abu Alheja, The Freedom Theatre in The Hindu