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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An evening to talk all things Arts & Culture in Palestine and how it's used within a conflict zone. Taking place at Manchester Museum

by Muhammad Ibrahim in Manchester, England, United Kingdom



An evening to talk all things Arts & Culture in Palestine, taking place at Manchester Museum. The event will be a discourse surrounding how Arts & Culture can thrive and progress amongst conflict. 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.


Hawiyya Dance Company (15 Minutes)

Hawiyya Dance Company was founded in 2017 as an all-women’s collective, based in London. They celebrate and honour cultural and traditional dances, especially of indigenous groups who’s cultures are being irradiated through colonialism and war. They create stories of these narratives by fusing the Traditional Folklore with Contemporary. Their main focus is raising awareness on the occupation and oppression of Palestine. They unite and build on promoting the Palestinian struggle for equal rights, their right for freedom and the narrative that is all too often silenced. Hawiyya draws upon Dabke (Laventine Traditional Folk Dance) with Contemporary Dance to create narrative works that tell stories of the oppressed and of the resistance that is lived. Hawiyya endeavours to honour Palestinian cultural through the celebration of Dabke in performance and participation.

Tea/Coffe Break (10 Minutes)

Exploring Methods of Soft Resistance


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.Professor Pappé was a senior lecturer in the department of Middle Eastern History and the Department of Political Science in Haifa University, Israel between 1984 and 2006. His research focuses on the modern Middle East and in particular the history of Israel and Palestine. He has also written on multiculturalism, Critical Discourse Analysis and on Power and Knowledge in general.

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 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.

Dr 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.

Dr 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 Arts & Culture with the speakers (30 minutes)

Question and Answers Session


Poetry by Amina Atiq - Amina Atiq is a Yemeni - Scouse writer, spoken-word performer and activist. She explores identity and politics in her work. She has been involved in national and international projects, working alongside Roots & Routes international, Ice and Fire theatre, Writing on the Wall, The Arab Arts Festival, ORT gallery, Firstdraft and many more. She has been featured on various artistic platforms such as BBC five digital, BBC Arabic, Skinny, Bito Lito, Ummahsonic and British Muslim TV @thewarehouse. Recent work involve co-writing a play alongside Christine Bacon, What Do I Know for Ice and Fire theatre which was premiered at Liverpool Arab Arts festival this summer. Alongside performing, Amina has worked closely with community events, such as Squash- Food for Real festival and the Granby Workshop leading her own creative workshops. She has plans to work closely with young people to inspire and support their creative journey.

Finish (Approx 8:45pm)

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