India’s policy of equidistance between Israel and Palestine faces criticism amid mounting death toll in Gaza.
Palestinian ideas of freedom and liberation are taking the stage in India.
A Palestinian theatre group from the Jenin refugee camp is on tour along with an Indian street theatre group.
The plan is to share Palestinian ideas of freedom and liberation with Indian audiences.
Palestinian director Nabil al-Raee, said the history between India and Palestine has shown the shared values between the two peoples, and also the differences they can use to learn from one another.
Sama Mahmood Yousef, a Palestinian actress, said theatre school was like a journey to self-discovery.
“And for me, as a woman in a conservative society, this is a form of cultural resistance. In Jenin, it’s hard to find places or people who support this kind of art. Everyone has their own job in the freedom theatre,” she said.
Sudhanva Deshpande, a member of the Jana Natya Manch (JANAM) or “People’s Theatre”, said stage performance gives new life to the causes they care about, such as identity and discrimination.
“All of these ideas are under tremendous threat. And that’s the reason why we need to bring artistic collaborations of this kind into the public sphere in India,” he said.
“Art has the capacity to create or imagine, an alternative future. Art has the capacity to cross borders with ease. So all of these ideas are also, we feel, global ideas. They’re not limited only to India or Palestine.”