Sixth Hakaya Festival – 2013
Under the patronage of the Greater Amman Municipality, Hakaya Festival returned in its sixth edition on the 8th of September, organized by Al Balad Theatre and the Arab Education Forum. Inspired by the rich experiences of our region and the world at large, the festival presents an exceptional array of stories and performances over the span of 5 days from 8 – 12 September, 2013.
The festival opens at the Hangar (Ras el Ein) with a performance by Walaa Sbeit, a young Palestinian storyteller, performing in Amman for the first time. A wide selection of storytellers will weave exciting stories in different locations starting with Lebanese storyteller, Sarah Kassir and Palestinian storyteller Fidaa Ataya, in addition to the renowned Egyptian storyteller Arfa Abdelrasoul. The Festival this year will also feature four Swedish storytellers performing in Jordan for the first time, with Mats Rehnman, Amanda Glans, Goran Hemberg and Kersti Bjorkman telling stories from all over the world. Diverse theatre performances from Palestine and the UK (Sensored), and Egypt (Zawaya: stories from the revolution), and Jordan/Syria (Shams) explore different social issues through personal stories and inward journeys. Literary and theatre readings make a comeback during this festival with writer Momen Mohammady from Egypt reading excerpts from his writings, and young Jordanian activist Mais Irqsusi who, along with 3 other artists/activists, weave narratives from real-life stories of Palestinians facing the challenges of travel. Young women from Gaza, through a cooperation with El Warsha theatre group (Egypt) and TDP (Palestine), will tell stories of the wars in Gaza as collected from first hand experiences. In addition to people’s stories, this
year the Festival celebrates stories of cities through two initiatives organized by “My city and I” and “Safar Palestine” where the cities of Al Salt and Nablus, on the one hand, and Karak and Hebron on the other, converse across the River Jordan. A storytelling package will be presented by Tammey organization to showcase different genres of storytelling through the image, the word, and music. An 85 year-old grandmother will join us through her audio recordings presented by her grandson, Mourad Khawaja, to tell the story of the city of Jaffa before 1948.
Since Hakaya Program is also interested in the transmission of knowledge and expertise to the younger generation, six workshops will be organized, facilitated by experienced trainers from Sweden, in addition to two young trainers: Noora Baker and Faisal al Azzeh.
As in every year, amateur and seasoned storytellers alike are invited to share their 8 – minute stories in the “marketplace of stories” that is meant to feature new talents and provide space for experimentation with a live audience.
Hakaya is also about movies, and this year two screening events have been programmed: young filmmakers from Talbiyye refugee camp will show their films about memory, and a veteran filmmaker from South Africa, Francois Verster, will screen his TV film about El Warsha theatre group in Egypt entitled: a storyteller for another era”.
The Closing event will feature a new Egyptian band, “Like Jelly”, presenting music and standup comedy in a unique combination.
The festival is made possible thanks to the cooperation and support of a number of companies and organizations including: Tamasi network, the Swedish Institute (Sweden), Fabula storytelling (Sweden), Ahli Bank, Darat al-Funon, The Duke’s Diwan, Gaza refugee camp, Talbiyyeh refugee camp, Zarqa refugee camp, Dhikra Initiative, Haya cultural Center, Princess Basma Youth Center, Granada Hotel, Century park Hotel, Roya TV, Ayyam FM, Spin FM, and Radio Al Balad.
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.