Stories from the Arab Spring: The Freedom Theatre performs in Amman, Jordan
One year ago – February 25th 2011, ten thousand protesters took to the streets of Amman demanding economic and political reform. Since then, Amman and other cities in Jordan have seen numerous public demonstrations inspired by the Arab Spring. Protestors have opposed government corruption, unemployment and the rising cost of living.
On February 24th, 2012, The Freedom Theatre held a playback theatre event in Amman, titled “Stories from the Arab Spring”. The event provided an opportunity for reflection and dialogue about the past year. Audience members were invited to share autobiographical accounts relating to the use of civil resistance and popular struggle. The event also welcomed personal accounts relating to the social, economic and political oppressions that sparked the Arab Spring.
Stories from the Arab Spring was advertised by word of mouth and by social media. An audience of about 50 – 60 youth, adults, men and women gathered at Al Balad Theatre in Downtown Amman for the event.
The audience was eager to share their experiences, hopes and critiques about the revolutionary tide that has swept through the Arab world since December 2010. Over the course of the evening, we heard stories about the uprisings in Egypt, Syria and Jordan. We also heard from one person who described how the Spring has impacted the protest movement in the USA.
An ensemble of three Freedom Theatre actors (Ahmed Roch, Eyad Horani and Faisal Abu Al-Heja) enacted the audiences’ accounts using playback theatre – an interactive theatre approach used in over 50 countries as a tool for community building, public dialogue, trauma recovery, social activism, and popular education. In a Playback event, audience members share thoughts, feelings, memories and autobiographical accounts, and watch as a team of actors and musicians instantly transform these experiences into improvised theatre pieces.
Stories from the Arab Spring was held after a weeklong playback theatre training workshop in Amman, led by The Freedom Theatre.
The Freedom Theatre is planning to facilitate further exploration of the Arab Spring with playback theatre performances in Egypt later this year. For more information and more images from the performance please email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/thefreedombus