Breaking the Occupation of the Mind in Palestine

by Muhammad Ibrahim in Manchester, England, United Kingdom

Breaking the Occupation of the Mind in Palestine
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How Arts & Culture can be used as a method of resistance against occupation and how it can be used to make life better in areas of conflict.

by Muhammad Ibrahim in Manchester, England, United Kingdom



An evening to talk all things Arts & Culture in Palestine, taking place at Manchester Musuem. The event will be a discourse surrounding how Arts & Culture can thrive and progress amongst conflict and the ways in which it is used as a form of resistance to opresseion. Guest speakers include Lowkey and Dr Ilan Pappé.


Professor Allan Owens, Fadel Alsawayfa & Muayyad Elwaheidi

(20 Minutes)

Proffesor Allan Owens - Professor of Drama Education; Co-Director of RECAP and Head of International Developments. In the past decade Prof Allan Owens has worked in 18 countries in on-going long-term projects in Palestine, Finland, Japan, Spain, Sweden and Estonia. He has led trans-professional teams in long-term inquiry and capacity building projects, run intensive short programs, developed research initiatives and staged pre-text based interactive performances in collaboration with colleagues locally, nationally and internationally.

Fadel Alsawayfa is a doctoral student in the Faculty of Education and Children’s Services at the University of Chester. He is particularly interested in arts-based research methods, drama in education, teacher education, creative pedagogy, education and conflict, and cultural education.

Muayyad Elwaheidi is a doctoral student at the University of Chester. Muayyad is an interpreter and a translator at the United Nations (UNRWA) and an instructor at the Islamic University in Gaza. Areas of interest include: Creative Writing, Cultural Studies and Arts-based research methods.

Together they will be explaining the importance of the arts in Palestine and the day to day realities in the West Bank and Gaza.

Audience Discussion

Manchester Palestine Action (MPA) (15 Minutes)

Adie Mormech (MPA) is an active campaigner with Manchester Palestine Action and Manchester Palestine Solidarity Campaign. He spent two years in the Gaza Strip as a University lecturer and human rights worker in 2010 and 2012, and reported from Gaza during Israel's pillar of cloud bombing campaign.

Tea/Coffe Break (10 Minutes)

Exploring Methods of Soft Resistance


Lowkey - With his own unique take on racism, war, and global political issues, rapper and activist (and member of several supergroups) Lowkey has emerged as one of the British hip-hop scene's most outspoken artists.Following several humanitarian aid missions in Palestine and various charity projects, he released his sophomore outing, Soundtrack to the Struggle, in 2011.

Malia Bouattia - Maila is the former President of the NUS (National Union of Students) and was the first Muslim woman of colour to represent the student movement. In her year in the role she consistently stood firm on her position on Palestinian rights, most notably giving an emotional exit speech recently in which she chanted “Free Palestine!”

Dr Ilan Pappé - Professor Pappé obtained his BA degree from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem in 1979 and the D. Phil from the University of Oxford in 1984.He founded and directed the Academic Institute for Peace in Givat Haviva, Israel between 1992 to 2000 and was the Chair of the Emil Tuma Institute for Palestine Studies in Haifa between 2000 and 2006.

Dr Bamo Nouri - Dr Nouri's research interests are based around the United States Foreign Policy towards the Middle-East and Iraq in particular. Special focus on the Middle-East and the US post 9-11 era, Democracy promotion and the present Middle-East in the context of History. His research also focuses heavily on Elite theory and its significance in explaining US decision making.

Judy Price - Judy Price will discuss her recent film White Oil (2014), that explores the stone quarrying industry in Palestine’s West Bank and is a subtle examination of the impact and workings of the occupation. Made over a three-year period White Oil unearths the environmental, economic, geological and political aspects of the quarries, where a complex set of relations between worker, owner, land, military, nationalist identities and sovereign state can be located. She will also talk about the vast cultural sector in Palestine and how artists and writers are seizing back locality.

Yara Sharif - Yara Sharif is a practicing Palestinian architect and an academic with an interest in design as a mean to facilitate and empower ‘forgotten’ communities, while also interrogating the relationship between politics and architecture. Combining research with design her work runs parallel between the architecture practice Golzari NG Architects, London and the design studio at the school of architecture, University of Westminster. Sharif has co-founded Palestine Regeneration Team (PART). PART is a design-led research group that aims through speculative and live projects to search for creative and responsive spatial possibilities in Palestine to heal the fractures caused by the occupation.

Audience to split into different groups to discuss methods of soft resistance with the speakers (30 minutes)

Question and Answers Session

Poetry by Amina Atiq - Amina Atiq uses poetry to explore her Yemeni heritage. Her identity lies in Yemen and in her current home, Liverpool, and her lyrical delivery reveals the beauty of both. She will be delivering poetry about her recent travels to Palestine.

Finish (Approx 8:45pm)

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