Waiting for Freedom: The Freedom Theatre of Jenin's While Waiting


Waiting for Freedom

Erin Mee

The Freedom Theatre of Jenin's While Waiting

Juliano Mer Khamis and his colleagues Jonatan Stancyk and Zakaria Zubeidi opened The Freedom Theatre in 2006 under unusually difficult circumstances. The Jenin Refugee Camp has a population of 16,000 people who were expelled from their homes in and around Haifa during the 1948 Nakba (in Arabic, “catastrophe”) and in 1967 after the Six-Day War. Mer Khamis estimated that 70% of the population in the camp is unemployed. During the 2002 Battle of Jenin 1,400 homes were destroyed or partially demolished, 1 in 3 people were again rendered homeless, curfews were imposed, and homes were invaded by Israeli soldiers. Residents suffer from a lack of secure housing and from rampant malnutrition.

“The Freedom Theatre,” declared Mer Khamis, who ran the theatre until he was assasinated on April 4, 2011, “is a venue to join the Palestinian people in their struggle for liberation with poetry, music, theatre, cameras. The Israelis succeeded [in destroying] our identity, our social structures, political [and] economical. Our duty as artists is to rebuild or reconstruct this destruction. Who we are, why we are, where we are going, who we want to be.” In a 2009 interview with the BBC, he said: “To be free is to be able to criticize. To be free is to be able to express yourself freely. To be free is to be free first of all [from the] chains of tradition, religion, [and] nationalism (in a dark way I mean). Then you can start to free yourself from others.”

“We believe that the third intifada, the coming intifada, should be cultural, with poetry, music, theatre, cameras, and magazines” declared Mer Khamis. His goal was for The Freedom Theatre to “generate a political artistic movement of artists who are going to raise their voices against women’s discrimination, against children’s discrimination, against violence.” To this end, The Freedom Theatre teaches courses in film, photography, creative writing, and drama therapy. the company offers a three-year theater training program and it has produced original adaptations of the famous Palestinian writer Ghassan Kanafani’s Men in the Sun,[i] George Orwell’s Animal Farm, and Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland.

In fall 2011 the first class of graduates from the theatre’s training program toured universities in the Northeastern United States, speaking to students, training with professionals, and performing While Waiting, their culminating project with the Freedom Theatre (directed by Udi Aloni in the wake of Mer Khamis’s murder). As a supporter of the group and an organizer of the tour, I had an opportunity to see this extraordinary production several times.

An adaptation of Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot, While Waiting begins with a comedy routine about what it’s like to tour a production from Palestine: “Palestinians suffer from a lot of discrimination,” a performer informs the audience. “Not only at the checkpoints. Most people arrive at the airport three hours before their flight. But we, the Freedom Theatre, when we booked our flight we booked fifteen days in New York, and three nights in the airport. The airport stay was like a spa: it was hot, I was naked, and I got a special Security massage…And then, when we got on the flight, I saw that the bathroom says ‘Occupied.’ Occupied! You have been occupying my bathroom for 63 years!” This comic monologue, delivered by Adi Khalefa, specifically locates the production in occupied Palestine, centering the production as a whole on what Didi (Maryam Abu Khaled) and Gogo (Batoul Taleb) do while waiting for freedom, while waiting for a state. This production asks who and what one becomes while waiting, how to behave toward those who share the wait, and how to live a semblance of a normal life without normalizing the Occupation, without giving in to it or giving up on the notion of freedom.

This production asks what happens to the humanity of those who are waiting. It is also examines the ways in which Did and Gogo fill their time with endless acts of creativity in order to survive; in this sense it is also about the power of theatre. Freedom seems like it will never appear. A young girl (played by Milay Mer, Mer Khamis’ daughter) seems to know Godot is out there somewhere, but she has never met him directly, and has no information to offer about what he is like. Freedom, like Godot, is a remote and vague concept, more rumor than reality.

Didi and Gogo are both played by women here. Gogo is not tortured by stones in his boots, but by high heels: by fashion, by socially determined notions of beauty and normative definitions of appropriate behavior for women. For her Godot also represents freedom from gender discrimination.

Pozzo (Rami al-Awni) is extremely wealthy: he wears a crisp white suit with a dashing tie, and carries a basket of appetizing chicken, which Gogo pounces on as if she has not eaten in days. Pozzo has two servants, (Moemen Switat and Eyad Hourani) both dressed poorly, and suffering under the weight of luggage they carry on their shoulders like refugees from the Nakba.

During rehearsals cast members were continuously harassed by the Israeli army: al-Awni was held for three weeks without access to a lawyer, and Switat was forced to attend interrogation sessions daily both before and after rehearsals. As a result, the company decided to cast three people in the role of Lucky so that one would always be able to rehearse; in New York there were only two actors playing the role because the third did not obtain a U.S. visa.

In a post-performance discussion at Columbia University’s Miller Theatre, the young actors talked about what the play means to them. For Abu Khaled the drama is about her personal situation after Mer Khamis’ death: “We are waiting for Godot, waiting for some
thing, waiting for our future.” For Taleb, Beckett’s tragicomedy is about “waiting for freedom.” Hourani said: “I’m waiting for all of us to be human.” For Mustafa Staiti, who created the video clips used in the production, “it’s not only about sitting and waiting, it’s about doing something, and start[ing] to take responsibility, because all the Palestinian people have been waiting for a leader. It’s about: stop waiting and start doing something. This is what this play means to me.”


Theater, an international journal of criticism, plays, and reporting on contemporary performance, is edited by the Yale School of Drama/Yale Repertory Theatre and published three times a year by Duke University Press.

Jenin Freedom Theatre Director Zakaria Zubeidi ordered by Israel to turn himself in to PA security services

by Today in Palestine on December 29, 2011 1

Palestinian pardoned by Israel put back on wanted list
Zakaria Zbeidi, the former commander of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades in Jenin who now runs the Freedom Theater, says he did not know his pardon was canceled. Zakaria Zbeidi, the former commander of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades in Jenin who was pardoned by Israel two years ago, has been added to Israel's wanted list again. In recent days, Palestinian security services informed Zbeidi that upon Israel's request, he must remain in the Palestinian Authority's detention facilities during all hours of the day and night, otherwise Israel will arrest him. Zbeidi confirmed the report to Haaretz, yet said he did not know why the pardon was rescinded. Last week, Palestinian security forces arrested one of Zbeidi's brothers, along with one of the workers at Jenin's Freedom Theater, which Zbeidi directs.
link to www.haaretz.com

François Abu Salem, founder of the Palestinian National Theatre, dies at 60

Dear Friends,

Yesterday was a very sad day, we have lost a great teacher mentor and friend, Francois Abu Salem is no more among us in body but his spirit, his dedication to the theatre and to Palestine, his creativity and authenticity will always remain present.  

Farewell FRANCOIS,  may you rest in peace.

Iman Aoun

Artistic Director

Ashtar Theatre

Ramallah – Palestine


http://www.urukne​t.info :: informazio​ne dal medio oriente :: informatio​n from middle east.

François Abu Salem, founder of the Palestinian National Theatre, dies at 60

By Michele Monni

October 4, 2011

RAMALLAH — Palestinian theater has lost one of its heroes. François Abu Salem, founder of the influential Palestinian National Theatre, was found dead on Sunday near his home in al-Tira, a suburb of Ramallah.

The cause of death is still uncertain, though suicide is a likely possibility.

Abu Salem was born in 1951 to a French mother and a Palestinian father. He grew up in an artistic home in East Jerusalem; his father was a poet and his mother a sculptor.

Abu Salem attended a Jesuit college in Beirut where he remained until 1968. In 1970, after a brief stint at the Theatre du Soleil in Paris, he began travelling through Europe, working for different acting companies until the mid-seventies when he moved to Jerusalem and began to stage his own, original works.

In 1975, with his then-wife and collaborator Jackie Lubeck, he founded al-Kawati Theater, from whose ashes Abu Salem created what today is popularly considered the most important theatre in Palestine, the Palestinian National Theatre.

For his work, Abu Salem received the Palestine Prize for theater from Yasser Arafat in 1998.

With his company al-Hakawati, Francois Abu-Salem performed almost everywhere. They toured the Gazan refugee camps as well as theaters of Paris and New York. A mixture of Western contemporary theater and Palestinian folk tradition is what made his productions famous worldwide.

Some critics have compared Abu Salem’s work to Marquez’s magical realism, Berthold Brecht’s expressionism and the Italian Commedia dell’Arte. Other critics, however, saw Abu Salem’s work as a dilution of the Palestinian theatrical tradition. He was often criticized for being overly influenced by Western theater.

"I [was] married for 15 years to François," Jackie Lubeck, his ex-wife and current director of Theatre Day Productions says. "Together we wrote and produced seven plays and we were able to stage operas hitherto unknown to the Palestinian public, [such as] Mistero Buffo by Dario For and Brecht’s The Exception and The Rule."

During his career Francois surrounded himself with a group of young and passionate collaborators, Lubeck said.

"The death of Francois Abu Salem is a great tragedy and a tremendous loss for Palestinian theatre," Jonatan Stanczk, acting director of Jenin’s Freedom Theatre told The Palestine Monitor. "The Freedom Theatre had the privilege to host Francois Abu Salem and to enjoy his support and encouragement. We will miss him both as a human being and as an extraordinary artist."

"It was not easy to work with him," admits Kamel el-Basha, the current director of the Palestinian National Theatre. "He was a perfectionist with sudden flashes of brilliance. I was aware of his existential problems, he attempted suicide several times over the past twenty years.

"Unfortunately with his last attempt he has deprived us of one of the most important representatives of Palestinian theater."

Yesterday, ceremonies were held at al-Kasaba Theatre in Ramallah, the Freedom Theatre in Jenin and the Ashtar Theatre and Palestinian National Theater in Jerusalem. A vigil in memory of the Franch-Palestinian playwright was also organized at the Arab Music Centre in East Jerusalem.

Watch François Abu Salem perform Mahmoud Darwish’s "A Memory of Forgetfulness," here (in Arabic and French).


Theater director Francois Abu Salem found dead in West Bank      October 03, 2011 02:13 AM




RAMALLAH, Occupied West Bank: Francois Abu Salem, a French actor and director and long-time West Bank resident, has died at the age of 60 in the city of Ramallah, Palestinian security forces said.

His body was found Saturday night in the al-Tira suburb of the Palestinian city, where he lived and worked for many years.

The cause of death was not immediately known and an inquiry was opened, although security sources said that suicide was being investigated as a possibility.

Friends of the director, who spoke to AFP on condition of anonymity, said he had been depressed.

Abu Salem was born in 1951 to renowned French poet and surgeon Lorand Gaspar and sculptor Francine Gaspar. He was raised in East Jerusalem, Beirut and France.

A fluent Arabic speaker who decided to take an Arabic surname, Abu Salem was the co-founder of the al-Hakawati Theater Company, which later grew into the Palestinian National Theater, in occupied East Jerusalem.

He was best known as a theater director and also adapted plays by renowned authors including Dario Fo and Bertolt Brecht.

Abu Salem received the Palestine Prize for theater from then Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat in 1998.

“It’s a terrible loss for those close to him as well as for theater in Palestine and as a whole,” his friend Lea Tzemel told AFP.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on October 03, 2011, on page 16.

Read more: http://www.dailystar.com.lb/Culture/Performance/2011/Oct-03/150328-theater-director-francois-abu-salem-found-dead-in-west-bank.ashx#ixzz1aTGRxjHJ
(The Daily Star :: Lebanon News ::

[TOPLAB-ANNOUNCE] Update for The Freedom Theatre in Jenin 8/27/2011‏

The following update from Friends of the Jenin Freedom Theatre wasreceived earlier this evening. –TOPLAB *** Friends of the Jenin Freedom TheatrePO Box 592Tarrytown, NY 10591(917) 991-5653friends@thefreedomtheatre.org 

ACTION UPDATE First: thank you to the hundreds of people from all over the world whoresponded to the Jenin Freedom Theatre's call for assistance, whetherby signing the protest statement, or by calling Israelirepresentatives both in the West Bank and in Washington, DC. You have demonstrated that people all over the world care about TheFreedom Theatre and are willing to make their voices heard! (Background: the Israeli army invaded The Freedom Theatre in the Jeninrefugee camp on July 27, 2011 at 3:30 a.m., smashing or cracking mostof its windows with large stones and arresting Adnan Naghnaghiye, thefacilities manager and Bilaal Saadi, the Board chair, on the spot. Afew days later, Rami Hwaywel, a 20-year old drama student was stoppedat a checkpoint, blindfolded and arrested.) Adnan and Bilaal were released from detention on August 23, 2011, andare back with their much-relieved colleagues and families. Thepressure we collectively brought to bear may have been a crucialcomponent of this outcome! We are expecting Rami, the featured player in an upcoming FreedomTheatre production, to be released within days. The assault against The Freedom Theatre, however, continues. At 2:00a.m. on August 22, the Israeli army attacked The Freedom Theatreagain, arresting Mohammad Eisht Naghnaghiye (Adnan's brother) who isthe Theatre's security guard. When Jacob Gough (the Theatre's ActingManager) arrived on the scene, the army forced him to strip atgunpoint. As Gough reported, "they beat Mohammed before taking himaway in handcuffs and then proceeded to ransack all three floors ofhis family home. As the army left the area they fired live ammunitionin an attempt to disperse the crowds of youth that had gathered andwere throwing rocks." No charges have been made against Mohammad Eisht Naghnaghiye. What you can do now: Please keep the pressure on to 1) release Mohammad 2) demand that the Israeli military leave The Freedom Theatre alone Please call: * The District Commanding Officer (DCO) of the Jenin Region:+972-2-970-3018. * Israeli Ambassador to the U.S., Michael Oren: (202) 364-5500;e-mail: info@washington.mfa.gov.il. * Sarit Arbell, Director of Cultural Affairs at the IsraeliEmbassy: (202) 364-5676; e-mail: culture1@washington.mfa.gov. 3) contribute funds to The Theatre's legal defense needs, which are,as of now, $5,500 and climbing.

Online donations: http://www.thefreedomtheatre.org/support-donate-monthly.php. Checks: Small donations can be made payable to The Friends of theJenin Freedom Theatre, Inc.; for tax-deductible donations, please makechecks payable to Grassroots International with "Jenin FreedomTheatre" on the memo line, and send to the address below. Again, thank you for what you have already done to support The FreedomTheatre, and for your continued support in protecting this vitalcultural institution in Palestine! From all of us at Friends of the Jenin Freedom TheatrePO Box 592Tarrytown, NY 10591917-991-5653friends@thefreedomtheatre.org

[TOPLAB-ANNOUNCE] Memorial Tribute to Juliano Mer-Khamis 4/12/2011 NYC‏

The Brecht Forum, Friends of the Jenin Freedom Theatre and
Existence is Resistance present

A memorial tribute to Juliano Mer-Khamis and a screening of his film,
Arna's Children

Tuesday, April 12, 2011 at 7:30 pm

at the Brecht Forum
451 West Street (West Side Highway, at Bank Street,
one block north of West Eleventh Street)
New York City

Juliano Mer-Khamis (1958-2011), actor, director, peace activist and
founder of the Jenin Freedom Theatre was murdered in front of his
theater on Monday April 4. In the wake of this tragic event, we shall
commemorate Juliano's life and life's work by screening Arna's
Children, a film he directed about his mother's work and out of which
he formed the ground-breaking Jenin Freedom Theatre, based in the
Jenin refugee camp in occupied Palestine.

This personal narrative tells the story of a children's theater group
on the West Bank that was established by Arna Mer Khamis, who grew up
in a Zionist family and later married a Palestinian Arab. Directed by
Arna's son Juliano, Arna's Children shifts back and forth in time to
show the children in rehearsal from 1989 to 1996, and then revisits
them later to discover the tragic fates that awaited three of them.
Devastating and shocking, the film reveals the tragedy and horror of
lives trapped by the circumstances of the Israeli occupation.

Admission–sliding scale: $6/$10/$15
Reserve online at

For additional information contact

Constancia Dinky Romilly
Friends of the Jenin Freedom Theatre
PO Box 1125
New York, New York 10276

This event is a fundraiser to help continue the work of Friends of the
Jenin Freedom Theatre.

Juliano Mer Khamis 1958-2011 by Anthony Alessandrini

Jadaliyya is tremendously saddened to report the death of Juliano Mer
Khamis earlier today. Juliano, 52, who was the Artistic Director of
The Jenin Freedom Theater and the co-director of the award-winning
documentary Arna's Children, was shot by unknown assailants in Jenin
as he was leaving the theater. We offer our deepest condolences to his
family, his friends, and all who worked with him and loved him.

Juliano was born in Nazareth in 1958. He was the son of Saliba Khamis,
a Palestinian citizen of Israel who was at one time the secretary of
the Israeli Communist Party, and Arna Mer Khamis, a Jewish Israeli who
spent her youth in the Palmach but became an anti-Zionist activist and
a fearless fighter for peace, justice, and human rights. In
interviews, Juliano would tell a story that marked the "racial lunacy"
into which he was born: his mother went into labor while taking part
in a protest against the imposition of martial law on Palestinian
villages in Israel. She was rushed to the hospital, "but the doctors
refused to stitch her and she nearly bled to death," he said. "They
knew she was married to an Arab."

Growing up, Juliano for a time adopted his Jewish maternal name and
joined an elite fighting unit of the IDF. "For a whole year my father
wouldn't talk to me. He simply kept silent," he told an interviewer.
But in 1978, while stationed in Jenin, he refused an order to forcibly
remove an elderly Palestinian man from a car and ended up in a fight
with his commanding officer. He was imprisoned for a few weeks and
then left the army. Ultimately, he came to identify himself, as he put
it in 2009, by stating: "I am 100 percent Palestinian and 100 percent

He worked extensively as an actor in film, television, and stage,
beginning in the 1980s; during this time, he also began to work with
his mother on the original Freedom Theater project in Jenin. Funded in
part by the prize money that Arna Mer Khamis was awarded when she won
the Alternative Nobel Prize, the theater was part of a larger project,
"Care and Learning," set up by Arna and a number of volunteers in the
Jenin Refugee Camp. She was the vision behind the project until her
death in 1994.

In 2003, Juliano collaborated with Daniel Daniel to produce and direct
the documentary Arna's Children. The film lovingly documented the work
of The Freedom Theater, and the lives of the children from Jenin who
participated in the plays and theater workshops. The film is also a
document of the horrific destruction visited upon the Jenin Refugee
Camp when it was invaded by Israeli forces in April 2002, and an
account of the Battle of Jenin fought against this invasion. Following
the lives and deaths of the young people who participated in The
Freedom Theater, as well as the destruction of the theater itself in
the Israeli invasion, the film was regarded by many as a masterpiece,
and was awarded the Best Documentary Feature prize at the 2004 Tribeca
Film Festival. In the words of one reviewer, the film is "a work of
art, because it was made with a trembling hand, with the stammer of
someone who does not know whom to mourn most: his mother, the boys
from the Jenin camp or the trampled hopes of people yearning to be

It is also a film made with tremendous courage and honesty, two
virtures that were the trademark of Juliano's art. Elias Khoury wrote
of Arna's Children: "It was not an ordinary film. I do not know from
where Juliano drew the courage and bravery to create this masterpiece,
which appeared before my eyes as a testimony stronger than both life
and death together."

The reaction to Arna's Children helped lead to the possibility of
rebuilding and expanding The Freedom Theater in Jenin. In 2006, the
theater opened its doors, and since then, it has offered a wide
variety of workshops and other opportunities to young people in the
camp, along with training in filmmaking, and the first Acting School
in Palestine was opened at The Freedom Theater in 2008. The theater
has also produced a number of plays, including Men in the Sun and
Animal Farm. The theater's most recent production, Alice in
Wonderland, co-directed by Juliano, opened in January to
standing-room-only crowds and rave reviews. All this constitutes a
rare legacy, achieved through a tremendous collective effort, and
Juliano was the visionary behind it all.

Juliano Mer Khamis was a fearless artist, and a fearless human being.
Arna's Children and The Freedom Theater are only the two most visible
parts of his legacy, a legacy that bespeaks the role artistic creation
can play even amidst the most horrible depths of injustice and
suffering. "The Freedom Theatre will provide the children of the camp
a tranquil environment to express themselves and create," he wrote,
describing the vision of the theater in 2006. To imagine the
possibility of opening up a space of tranquility, of expression, and
thus of possibility, in Jenin Refugee Camp, whose name has become
synonymous with the most vicious and destructive brutality of the
occupation, might be seen as madness. Its very existence is a
testament to the power of the artistic tradition that Juliano embodied
with such beauty and power.

In Arna's Children, Juliano documented, tenderly and fearlessly, the
many ways that martyrdom comes to the young artists of Jenin camp. He
showed us that every life lost in Jenin needed to be seen and
understood as an unspeakable tragedy worthy of our remembrance. As
Khoury wrote, so movingly, on the establishment of The Freedom Theater
in Jenin: "It stands on ground laid down by the child martyrs, who
found that the meaning they learned in Arna's theatre led them in
their early youth to create the epic of Jenin Refugee Camp, through
its heroic resistance in 2002. These are the children who we watched
in the film Arna's Children, dying and their blood covering their
dream of becoming actors and artists. They are the true owners of The
Freedom Theatre in Jenin Refugee Camp." Juliano has joined them. The
loss of his voice is an irreplaceable one.

Arna's Children can be purchased on DVD here
(http://www.thefreedomtheatre.org/support-buy.php), with all proceeds
donated to The Freedom Theater in Jenin.

Israeli Arab actor Juliano Mer-Khamis shot dead in Jenin – Haaretz Daily Newspaper | Israel News‏

Israeli Arab actor Juliano Mer-Khamis shot dead in Jenin

Mer-Khamis, 53, had established his name as actor, director and political activist both in Israel and abroad.

By Haaretz Service

Israeli Arab actor and political activist Juliano Mer-Khamis, 53, was shot dead on Monday, April 4th 2011 in a refugee camp in the West Bank city of Jenin.

Jenin police chief Mohammed Tayyim said Mer-Khamis was shot five times by Palestinian militants, but that police were still investigating the circumstances of his murder. A Palestinian ambulance took his body to a nearby checkpoint to be transferred into Israel.

Mer-Khamis was well-known as an actor for his film and theater roles, both in Israel and abroad, and had made a name for himself as a director and a political activist, as well.

Based in Israel, Mer-Khamis was affiliated with the local theater in Jenin, established by his mother in the 1980s. In 2006, Mer-Khamis opened the Freedom Theater in Jenin, along with Zakariya Zubeidi, the former military leader of the Al-Aqsa Martyr Brigades in that West Bank city.

Mer-Khamis' mother, Arna Mer, was an Israeli Jewish activist for Palestinian rights. His father, Saliba Khamis, was a Christian Palestinian. Mer-Khamis was born and raised in Nazareth.


Travel Grant‏ in Mediterranean area – Roberto Cimetta Fund for Mobility

Deadline: Every 5 to 6 weeks
Open to: all professionals, artists or cultural operators in all fields of contemporary arts in the Mediterranean
Grant: individual travel grants – arts mobility, travel, meeting with other professionals

The Roberto Cimetta Fund is an international association promoting artistic exchange and the mobility of professionals in the field of contemporary performing arts and visual arts within the Mediterranean area.

In the Mediterranean region, the frontier region between the Arab, European and Turkish worlds, mobility is an historic reality and an absolute necessity today. It is essential to give shape to the concept of « the dialogue between cultures » and to ensure that individuals really meet ; more concretely this means to make financial resources available to facilitate travel, to capitalise on the opportunities for professional gathering, but also to recognise the free circulation of culture professionals as an integral part of their work. These are amongst the objectives of the Roberto Cimetta Fund.

Arts mobility, travel, meeting with other professionals are all aspects of artistic vitality. In a region where artists are often confronted with economically difficult situations, the Roberto Cimetta Fund supports and encourages travel which allows culture professionals to find the opportunities, partners and means to realise personal or collective projects; thus facilitating networking, exchanges of experience and cultural and artistic cooperation.

With the support of a number of partners, the Roberto Cimetta Fund has set up a programme for awarding individual travel grants. These cover travel and visa costs for trips such as attending professional cultural network meetings, workshops, artist’s residences, symposiums etc. The programme is intended to operate simply, flexibly and quickly. Selections are organised regularly (every 5 to 6 weeks).


The Roberto Cimetta Fund organises professional platforms for comparing experience and knowledge on regional artistic issues in the Mediterranean.

If you apply on one of the two priority strands listed below you will have more chance of being successful if your application fits the criteria of these strands. If your project or travel aims do not fit either of these strands then your application will be examined under the general funding line which is multidirectional, transdisciplinary and open to candidacies from all EU countries, all countries around the Mediterranean and Arabian Gulf countries (see list under “travel grant for whom?” section).

Priority strand one
Priority is given to artists and operators coming from or going to the following cities and countries :

* Algeria (Algiers)
* Armenia (Gumri)
* Israel (Haifa)
* Italy (Province of Genova)
* Morocco (Marrakech)
* Palestine (Bethlehem)
* Tunisia (Tunis)

Priority strand two
Priority is given to artists and operators whose travel aims or projects can link into the Marseille-Provence, European capital of culture 2013 events, themes or the region (which encompasses 130 local communities from Arles to Hyères, through St. Remy de Provence and the Pays d’Aix. See MP2013 website for detailed map). If the applicant is travelling from South to South (ie from Maghreb to Near East or vice versa) or from South to East ((ie Balkans to Near East including Turkey, or Maghreb including Egypt and vice versa) then chances of making a successful application are even higher.


The travel grant programme is addressed to all professionals, artists or cultural operators in all fields of contemporary arts in the Mediterranean (the countries on the north shore from Portugal to Turkey, and on the south side from the Near East to the Maghreb). European professionals may apply but only if their project has a strong Mediterranean connection. The Roberto Cimetta Fund travel grants are individual – they are granted to specific individuals and not to organisations. The application must therefore be filled in and sent by the person desiring the grant. A maximum of three applications linked to the same project will be accepted (participants for short term training events, for example), but the selection will be based on the merit of each individual personally: he/she must clearly describe their career path, motivations and personal objectives.
The project must involve one of the following artistic disciplines

  • contemporary performing arts : new theatrical forms, new writing for theatre, dramaturgy, contemporary dance, circus, street performances in situ, puppet theatre and inter-disciplinary projects,
  • visual arts including photography, film, digital arts, video arts
  • literature : especially travel for authors’ meetings, writing workshops, poetry…

The exchange must take place in the Euro-Mediterranean area

  • the 27 countries of the European Union- the Southern and Eastern countries of the Mediterranean: Turkey, Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Palestine, Israel, Algeria, Libya
  • Balkan countries that are not members of the EU: Serbia, Albania, FYROM (Macedonia), Bosnia-Herzegovina, Montenegro, Kosovo, Croatia.
  • The countries of the Arabian Gulf (UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Yemen, Bahrain, Oman).

Applicants’ profile

  • nationality: the selection committee does not take into account the nationality of the applicants but the country where they live and work (see the list above).
  • age: no age limit, but the selection committee prefers to support professionals who are starting their professional careers and who have not already developed their access to international professional networks.
  • profession: artists (interpreters, creators, teachers, writers), cultural operators (organizers, managers).
  • projects: projects at a professional level.
  • financial means: priority is given to applicants who do not have access to other funds supporting their travel, and to those who are the most artistically and economically isolated.

The applications must be made by an individual
Up to three applicants from the same organization or project can apply for a travel bursary related to the same project, but their applications will be evaluated separately according to their individual professional pathway
The travel grant

RCF will only reimburse one international return travel ticket and visa costs (no reimbursement for local transport costs, registration fees, accommodation, per diem…). The amount reimbursed is the amount you estimate on the application form. You must choose the cheapest way to travel (economy class…).

How to apply?

The request must be written and sent by the individual applicant him/herself and not by an organisation.
The process is quite simple and fast (about one month).

  • to know the date of the coming session in advance, check on webpages www.cimettafund.org or contact the coordinator info@cimettafund.org
  • Use one of the application forms which you will find at the end of this text. The application forms correspond to the priority strands that are indicated in the “priorities” webpage. Use the blue arrow to help you navigate down to the bottom of this text. Just click on the link and download the document. Fill it in carefully and provide the correct and concise information.
  • Fill it in in French or English.
  • Send it by e-mail to grant@cimettafund.org

Required documents

  • the application form, completely filled in
  • If possible an invitation letter from the organisers of this event.


The dates of the sessions of selection are indicated on the site and are subject to change so check regularly.  Late applications won’t be submitted.

Application forms

Click here to download the application form for the RC fund.
Click here to download the application form for strand 1.
Click here to download the application form for strand 2.
The filled form has to be sent to grant@cimettafund.org before the next deadline.

Click here for more information.

Please note that Mladiinfo does not give scholarships or any financial support, but only informs about different opportunities. Click on the direct link to the official page above to apply for the program.

The Gaza Monologues at the UN‏

The Gaza Mono-Logues

On November 20, 2010, twenty-six young actors representing twenty-one countries arrive in New York City to perform The Gaza Mono-Logues. 

(Italy-France-Belgium-The Netherlands-UK-Germany-Swiss-Hungary-Norway-Sweden-Greece-

Palestine-Lebanon-Tunisia-Jordan-Pakistan-Sri Lanka-Zimbabwe-Gambia-Trinidad-USA)

Directors Iman Aoun (ASHTAR Theatre, Palestine) and Shauna Kanter (VOICETheatre, NYC) will create with them a performance of these texts in all their different languages.

A public performance is hosted by La MaMa E.T.C on Sunday 28th at 8PM in The Club.

Two performances will take place in the United Nations for the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, November 29th at 12:30PM in Conference Hall 2 right after the Special Meeting, and in the evening at 6.30PM in the public lobby around the opening exhibition of UNRWA, Summer Games in Gaza.

Olivia Magnan de Bornier: 718 974 1240 olivia@thegazamonologues.com
Interviews available in English, French, Arabic.