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"Her Story Is: performances and presentations" : U.S. & Iraqi women's art collaboration
"Her Story Is : performances and presentations"; an evening of theater, poetry, visual art, and music; artistic results from a yearlong collaboration involving U.S. and Iraqi women artists.
The artists in the project have worked together for the past year, communicating electronically and meeting at a five-day workshop in December, 2017. At that time, three of the Iraqi artists met with four Boston-area artists in Dubai, a location accessible to both groups. Joining them were three translators who were full participants in the workshop, including Amir Al-Azraki, an Iraqi-Canadian scholar, playwright, and cofounder of HSI.
In Dubai, the artists offered intensive sessions for one another on their disciplines, while also telling deeply personal and moving stories about their lives and work. All were women whose lives had been shaped in different ways by war. For example, Nadia Sekran, a translator and a researcher, defined herself as "an Iraqi woman and survivor of three wars": the Iran-Iraq war of the 1980s, the 1991 Gulf War, and the 2003 American invasion of Iraq. Jennifer Jean, a poet from Peabody, MA, spoke about being the daughter of a Vietnam veteran. The project participants laughed, cried, and began mapping out ways in which they would work together once the workshop was over.
On June 15 and June 24, HSI will present a program of painting, video, poetry and a play with music at two Boston-area locations. This new work reflects the collaboration that began a year earlier. For further details on the events scheduled for June 15 and June 24, please refer to www.fortpointtheatrechannel.org/
The evening will include 10 presentations, including new works by Iraqi poet Hana Ahmed and Boston poet Jennifer Jean anda staged reading of a new play co-written by Amy Merrill in Boston and Elham Nasser Al-Zabeedy in Iraq. Also featured will be videos from the workshop by Boston filmmaker Lillie Paquette, art from Iraq by Maryam Mohsen, Thaira Al Mayahi, and Elham Al-Zabeedy, and commentaries by several projects participants.
An exhibit at Atlantic Wharf, June 7-22, will include art by several of the Iraqi women in the project, including the remarkable work of Al-Zabeedy, a visual artist, activist, and president of the Lotus Women's Cultural League in Iraq, one of the HSI cosponsors.Anne Loyer, a Boston-based artist committed to visual storytelling and a coordinator of HSI, is organizing and curating the exhibit.
The presentations in Boston and Somerville parallel public events in Iraq this spring and coming up later this year. And the women expect to continue their work together, overcoming barriers separating their nations.
What energizes the women to keep going with the collaboration -- emails, Skype calls, and meetings -- is their commitment to the use of art to promote dialogue and understanding between people who have been separated by geography and war. The Dubai workshop and the events in Boston aim to achieve what the governments of Iraq and the US have not yet accomplished:
Her Story Is represents the current phase in an ongoing collaboration among Fort Point Theatre Channel, UMass Boston's Joiner Institute for the Study of War and Social Consequences, the University of Basra, the Center for Arabic Culture, the Odysseus Project, playwright Amir Al Azraki, and the Lotus Women's Cultural League in Iraq.
(Listings information for Boston, MA and Somerville MA)
Her Story Is : performances and presentations. An evening of theater, poetry, visual art, and music; artistic results from a yearlong collaboration involving U.S. and Iraqi women artists. Presented by Fort Point Theatre Channel, the Joiner Institute for the Study of War and Social Consequences, the Odysseus Project, the Center for Arabic Culture, and partners in Iraq. Friday, June 15, 7:00-8:30 pm.Atlantic Wharf, 290 Congress St., Boston 02210. Free and open to all. For more information:
Her Story Is : performances and presentations. An evening of theater, poetry, visual art, and music; artistic results from a yearlong collaboration involving U.S. and Iraqi women artists. Presented by Fort Point Theatre Channel, the Joiner Institute for the Study of War and Social Consequences, the Odysseus Project, the Center for Arabic Culture, and partners in Iraq. Sunday, June 24, 7:00-8:30 pm. Arts at the Armory, 191 Highland Ave., Somerville 02143. Free and open to all. For more information:
--submitted by marycurtinproductions
on behalf of Fort Point Theatre Channel