THE VILLAGE

INTRODUCTION

The Village is inspired by the true story of Khan Al-Ahmar and the thousands of home demolitions Palestinians have faced over the last 70 years. 

 

The story is told in real time, across two weeks in a purpose built site specific village placed in the centre of a UK city. We start on the day the villagers receive their final eviction order. The village Mukhtar (head) announces this news and with it invites internationals to join the village in an act of peaceful and creative resistance and block the demolition. 

Across the next two weeks audiences and passersby are welcomed into A Village to enjoy and explore Palestinian culture, identity and history as well as learn or participate in acts of peaceful creative resistance against the imminentdemolition.

 

The story is set in 2030 the year we on are track to hit 1.5 degrees global warming which in the middle east will make it impossible to grow food and already increase the scarcity of water resources.

 

The narrative aims to both imagine the future and draw on the reality of the past and present, connecting the dots between colonialism, war and the impending climate crisis that is making people living under oppression ever more vulnerable. 

A STORY TOLD ACROSS
TWO WEEKS

A reconstructed Palestinian Bedouin village sits in the middle of a UK city. Simple structures make up the homes and both indoor and outdoor communal spaces amongst the olive trees.

PROTECTING THE VILLAGE

 

The village gathers together and makes the collective decision to stay and resist the demolition. They ask internationals to join in peaceful resistance helping to occupy the space. Audiences and passersby are welcomed into The Village to enjoy and explore Palestinian culture, identity and history as well as learn or participate in acts of peaceful creative resistance against the immanent demolition.

THE MILITARY MOVE IN

 

Under a heavy military presence daily life for The Village continues and audiences are invited to participate by cooking, sharing meals, get involved in daily tasks and sleeping in The village overnight. This simple set up is a way for people to experience the famous Palestinian hospitality, find out about Palestinian food and lifestyle as well as participate in a collective community.

WORKSHOPS, TRAINING AND TALKS

 

A program of workshops, talks and trainings takes place across two weeks bringing together experts from Palestine and world-wide creating an educational hub where people can come together and exchange knowledge. Talks could explore a range of topics including colonialism, the right of return for refugees, the climate crisis and art and culture in Palestine. Trainings and workshops mirror what is already taking place in Palestine and aim to train people in civil disobedience, non-violent direct action as well as cultural resistance and creative activism.

THE MILITARY MOVE IN

 

After decades of threatening to demolish The Village the Israelis issue a final notification. T

A WEDDING

 

A young couple decide to go ahead with their wedding and everyone is invited to join in the traditional celebrations. As is customary in Palestine the groom provides a home for them to live in. Despite the threat of demolition the couple move into their home on the night of their wedding hoping to begin their new life.

CULTURAL RESISTANCE

Creation under occupation including music, poetry, dance, film screenings and theatre will entertain audiences and be a vital part of the creative resistance against the eminent demolition. Whilst the overriding narrative from the media pictures Palestinians especially young men as violent and dangerous often labelling them as terrorists, in fact Palestine has a rich history of non violent civil disobedience and using culture and creativity as a form of resistance.

CREATIVE ACTIVISM & SOLIDARITY

 

From kite flying, to cycling, to parkour to collective farming Palestine has led the way with its response to oppressive forces using creative activism. Working with solidarity groups across Britain we aim to celebrate this rich history in creative activism by recreating examples of these actions.

PROTESTS

 

As increased military pressure builds, protesters respond with increased demonstrations. Audiences are invited to make banners and placards and participate. They are also taken through the same training that happens in Palestine taking people through different dangers they might encounter and how to stay safe.

A WEDDING

 

A young couple decide to go ahead with their wedding and everyone is invited to join in the traditional celebrations. As is customary in Palestine the groom provides a home for them to live in. Despite the threat of demolition the couple move into their home on the night of their wedding hoping to begin their new life.

DAILY LIFE CONTINUES

 

Under a heavy military presence daily life for The Village continues and audiences are invited to participate by cooking, sharing meals, get involved in daily tasks and sleeping in The village overnight. This simple set up is a way for people to experience the famous Palestinian hospitality, find out about Palestinian food and lifestyle as well as participate in a collective community.

THE STORY OF KHAN AL-AHMAR

The story of Khan al-Ahmar exemplifies Israel’s policy of expelling Palestinian communities from their land. The village is made up of around 180 members of the Jahalin Bedouin tribe, which has a 70-year-long history of dispossession and forced relocation by the Israeli government. Originally from Tel Arad in the Negev the Israeli military forced them out of their villages and into the West Bank in 1948. In the early 1970s they settled in Mishor Adumim. 

 

Israel often tries to evict residents by creating unbearable living conditions that force people to leave their homes, allegedly of their own free will. The authorities refuse to connect communities to running water and power grids, do not authorise construction of homes or other structures and restrict access to pastureland. 

 

In the case of Khan al-Ahmar after nearly a decade of mistreatment, a green light from Israel’s High Court of Justice meant the village became under imminent threat of demolition. However in an act of cultural and civil dislobence hundreds of Palestinians, Israelis and international activists stood in solidarity with the village living there and peacefully resisting the demolition. So far they have been successful however pressure from both the Israeli government and military is ever present.

THE CLIMATE CRISIS

The world is facing an emergency. Scientists have warned we are entering a period of climate breakdown, spiralling our weather systems into extremes and potentially triggering a mass extinction of our own making. From people, to plants, to animals, life on earth is in crisis.

 

A recent UN report (IPCC) urges that we have just over a decade to complete rethink the way we live or risk irreversible damage to the climate. But instead of taking immediate action the worlds biggest nations escalate their use of fossil fuels pushing us closer to a terrifying future. Whilst business as usual continues in the West, it is the worlds most vulnerable communities who are being effected now. 

 

On the frontline sits Palestine. 

70 YEARS OF DEMOLITION & LAND GRAB
INSPIRATION