The fifth edition of Hakaya festival 2012
Under the patronage of Greater Amman Municipality, Hakaya Festival returns in its fifth edition scheduled to open on the 11th of September, organized by al Balad Theatre and the Arab Education Forum, funded by the European Union and other sponsors.
Inspired by the rich and tumultuous experiences of our region and the world at large, the festival presents an exceptional array of stories and performances over the span of 7 days from 11 – 17 September, 2012.
The Opening night will be held at the garden of the National Museum of Fine Arts in Lweibdeh featuring a presentation of “Hakaya” as well as the launch of both “Jeereh” and “Istikshaf” projects, topped by a storytelling performance entitled “Urgent Stories”.
The festival kicks off with a Tunisian performance by artist Nawel Eskandarani, inspired by the Tunisian revolution, entitled“email@example.com”. The performance narrates personal stories of resistance using the spoken word, dance and live music. Hakawi at Tahreer Theatre group from Egypt will present a performance that has been evolving over the past 5 years, “Bussy” or Look Here, which documents the experiences and particular stories of Egyptian women. The festival will also feature another Egyptian performance, “The Ebb and Flow of Tide”, presented by Tammy Theatre group.
Distinguished storytellers from all over the world will astound Hakaya audiences with their passion for storytelling. This year, the festival is proud to present: Salman Natour and Taher Bakeer from Palestine, Abdul Rahim El Maqori from Morocco, Abdul Razak Kammoun from Tunisia, Praline Gay-Para from Lebanon/France, Jack Lynch from Ireland, Amal Al Saki from Iran, Shadi Atef from Egypt, Ashwat Bhatt from India, Sarah Kassir from Lebanon and Abu Saleem Brothers from Jordan who will tell the story of Ash Shater Hasan. The story-telling events will not be confined within the borders of the city of Amman but will travel to visit Jordanian governorates as well as the remote suburbs of Greater Amman.
Since Hakaya Program is also interested in the transmission of knowledge and expertise to the younger generation, three workshops for youth and animators will be organized, facilitated by experienced trainers and storytellers, namely, Praline Gaypara, Ashwat Bhatt, and Raneen Institute.
As in every year, amateur and seasoned storytellers alike are invited to share their 5 – minute stories in the “marketplace of stories” that is meant to feature new talents and provide space for experimentation with a live audience.
In addition, the festival is collaborating with two innovative collectives/groups who are active in the cultural and artistic scene in Jordan and whose work is relevant to storytelling. The first session of “Salon-Aat” will take place during the festival, with the aim of starting a debate on Arab and International art works that are related to women. The debate will address these works in a workshop, entitled “Veiled Monologues” organized by Aat and Female Economy Dutch troupe in cooperation with Al Balad Theatre/Hakaya. The festival will also host a joint workshop with Pen Project to encourage youth to take the initiative, write their tales and publish them online.
For the first time in Hakaya, the audience will have the opportunity to attend a two-hour session with a storyteller to listen to and discuss his/her experience in the field. This session will help the audience meet the storyteller up close and understand the process of becoming a storyteller and how to discover this skill that lies within.
As part of “Hakaya meetings”, the network will gather in their annual meeting to exchange expertise and discuss their individual and collective work. In this edition, two research projects on storytelling conducted within the framework of Hakaya program will be presented for discussion. The first research is on “methodologies of transmitting the art of storytelling in some Arab countries” by Shahd Bani Odeh and the second is on “transforming life and folk tales into literary works” by Anas Abu Rahmeh.
Hakaya is also about movies, and this year two films will be screened and discussed: The first is “The Nekbah Archive”, produced by researcher Mahmoud Zeidan from Lebanon and Directed by filmmaker Diana Allan. The film presents excerpts of lengthy interviews that were recorded with the first generation of Palestinian refugees, who shared experiences that remain unwritten and untold. The second film is “The Halqa: the storytellers’ circle”, which is directed by Thomas Landerberger and documents the stories that unfold in el Fana Mosque Square in the Moroccan city of Marrakech.
The Closing event will feature renowned Palestinian/Austrian musician, Marwan Abado, who will present his latest solo CD, “Raouchana”, telling stories of resistance in music, presented for the first time in the region as part of a tour that includes Jordan and Lebanon, in cooperation with Irab Association, supported by the Austrian Embassy.
The festival is made possible thanks to the cooperation of a number of local partner organizations including: MS/Action Aid, National Museum of Fine Arts, Diwan ad Doq, Darat al-Funon, The Studio, Gaza refugee camp, Talbiyyeh camp, Dhikra Initiative, YMCA – Madaba, Haya cultural Center, Princess Basma Youth Center, Shepherd Hotel, Granada Hotel, Canyon Hotel, Roya TV, Ayyam FM, Spin FM, Farah Al Nass Radio, Radio Al Balad, with support from the Jordan Ahli Bank.
Hakaya is a program that connects organizations, individuals and different groups that believe in the centrality of stories in the healthy growth of individuals and societies. For several years, the program has been celebrating the art of storytelling in theatre, arts, promotion of literacy and writing, formation of identity and cross-cultural dialogue.
The detailed agenda of the festival and a brief on the activities can be found here: www.hakaya.org