Sunteți pe pagina 1din 41

2016 Festival Report

2016 Festival Report

PARTNERS
2016 Festival Report

PATRONS

Thank you dear friends for your noble


solidarity, thank you for your courageous
gesture to break the moral siege inflicted
upon us and thank you because you are
resisting the invitation to dance on our
graves. We are here.
MAY 2008
We are still alive. From PalFests first patron, on the festivals
premiere night in Ramallah, Palestine.

CHINUA JOHN MAHMOUD SEAMUS HAROLD PHILIP EMMA


ACHEBE BERGER DARWISH HEANEY PINTER PULLMAN THOMPSON
ARTISTS

PalFest 2016 artists take shelter from the rain after a tour of al-Khalil/Hebrons occupied Old City

Mahmoud Abu Areesheh Jehan Bseiso Haykal Ghiath al-Madhoun Bhakti Shringarpure
Amina Abu Safat J.M. Coetzee Julmud Colum McCann Ahdaf Soueif
Ali Abu Ajamieh Ben Ehrenreich Remi Kanazi Sarah McNally Basima Takrouri
Ahmad Jamil Azem Mohamed Elshahed Majd Kayyal Benjamin Moser Haifa Zangana
Asmaa Azaizeh Jocasta Hamilton Laila Lalami Muqataa
Basta Theatre Nathalie Handal Rickey Laurentiis Mostafa Qossoqsi
Lee Brackstone Saidiya Hartman Barry Lopez Jack Shenker
2016 Festival Report

PALFEST 2016

Jehan Bseiso walks through the narrow alleyways of Balata Refugee Camp, Nablus

Decades of military occupation have restricted the movement of people, books and art, and prevented
cultural connections which would otherwise have occurred naturally. PalFest brings Palestinian and
international artists together, brings books through borders and crosses military checkpoints to reach
its audiences. PalFest strives in its form to recreate a fraction of the Palestinian experience for the
visiting author, and to resist the cultural siege being imposed on audiences, authors and artists in
Palestine.
SOCIAL MEDIA

21 May PalFest begins....


DAY ONE Amman - King Hussein (Allenby) Bridge - Ramallah

7pm Public Event at the Ottoman Court, Ramallah


Asmaa Azaizeh, Jehan Bseiso, Barry Lopez, Ghiath al Madhoun

Tania Nasser introduces new translation of Barry Lopezs The Rediscovery of North America, commissioned for PalFest 2016
DAY TWO Ramallah - Jerusalem

8.30am Walk with Raja Shehadeh in the Ramallah hills


DAY TWO Ramallah - Jerusalem

12.30pm Depart for Jerusalem. Cross Qalandia checkpoint

3.45pm Walking tours of the Old City led by Jerusalem historians


and activists.

Saidiya Hartman exits Qalandia checkpoint


DAY TWO Ramallah - Jerusalem

7pm Public event at Dar Issaf al-Nashashibi, Jerusalem


Mohamed el Shahed, Rickey Laurentiis, Mostafa Qossoqsi,
Bhakti Shringarpure, Haifa Zangana

Bhakti Shringarpure and Mohamed el Shahed speak to a packed house at the Dar Essaf al Nashashibi
DAY THREE Jerusalem - Bethlehem

8.30am Visit to al-Aqsa Sanctuary / Dome of the Rock

PalFest authors visit al-Aqsa Sanctuary


DAY THREE Jerusalem - Bethlehem

11.30am Briefing from Ray Dolphin of UN OCHA

2pm Depart for Bethlehem

Rickey Laurentiis walks along a stretch of Israels wall near Aida Camp in Bethlehem
DAY THREE Jerusalem - Bethlehem

Nathalie Handal, Basima Takrouri, Jehan Bseiso and Remi Kanazi at Bethlehem University
DAY THREE Jerusalem - Bethlehem

PalFest with Dr Abdelfattah Abusrour, at Al Rowwad Community Centre which he founded in Aida Camp, Bethlehem
DAY FOUR al-Khalil/Hebron - Haifa

1:00pm Depart for Haifa

8:00pm Public event at the Arab Culture Association, Haifa


Majd Kayyal, Benjamin Moser, Rana Khoury & Darwish Darwish
musical performance, Amer Hlehel, Ghiath al Madhoun,
Colum McCann

PalFest event with the Arab Culture Association in Haifa


DAY FIVE Ein Hod - Nablus

11am Depart to Ein Hod

12pm Walking tour of Ein Hod

2pm Arrive in Nablus

PalFest writer, Mohamed el Shahed freshens up in one of Nablus Old City barbers
DAY FIVE Ein Hod - Nablus

Ben Ehrenreich speaks in the Municipal Library Gardens, Nablus


DAY SIX Nablus - Ramallah

7pm Closing Event at the Sakakini Cultural Centre, Ramallah


Rickey Laurentiis reading from Ahmed Masouds work, Saidiya
Hartman, Ali Abu Ajamieh, JM Coetzee, Remi Kanazi

PalFest closing night at the Sakakini Cultural Centre, Ramallah


2016 Festival Report

PALFEST 2016

JM Coetzee at the closing night of PalFest 2016 at Khalil Sakakini Cultural Center, Ramallah

In 2016 we put on free public events in Jerusalem, Nablus, Ramallah, Haifa and at Bethlehem
University. In every venue we enjoyed a full house. We estimate that some 900 people attended
PalFest events this year.
2016 Festival Report

PalFests multi-generational, multi-cultural audience at the opening event


Palfest has a dual logic: During the day,
it is a concentrated, distressing immersion
into the occupation of Palestine.
But by night, there is a release of creative
and intellectual energies with events
performed to an enthusiastic crowd, often
to the light of a slowly descending sunset.
It is definitely the best and the worst thing
I have ever done.
BHAKTI SHRINGARPURE

Bhakti Shringarpure at Dar Essaf al Nashashibi, Jerusalem


PalFest author, Jehan Bseiso at Qalandia checkpoint
2016 Festival Report

Running a travelling festival through a military occupation is always a challenge. At the King Hussein
Border crossing one of our authors, Ahmed Masoud, was denied entry. Ahmed was born in Gaza
and this was to have been his first visit to the West Bank. He wrote a moving blog post about his
heartbreaking disappointment.

Israel denied me entry to Palestine yesterday (21 May 2016) mainly because I am from Gaza.
Thats it, no other reason whatsoever. No further explanation, no details, they didnt give a shit
even though I was travelling on my British passport. They took me to a room and showed me all my details
on a screen, an Israeli soldier came carrying a big gun. I said I wanted to speak to my British Embassy, but
they just laughed and said in a thick Arabic accent Enta Falasteeni khabebi (You are Palestinian darling).

In the end, the best we could do was to sign his book, travel with it and have it read on our closing
night.

The poet Inua Ellams was denied a visa by the Israeli Embassy in London. They did not give a reason.
OBSTRUCTIONS
2016 Festival Report

OBSTRUCTIONS
Even though I knew a lot about
this conflict, I cant remember
a week in my life that taught
me more than PalFest. I learned
about Palestine -- and I learned
about a model of activism for
writers and citizens who want to
do something about the worlds
injustices, but have forgotten
how.
BENJAMIN MOSER

Benjamin Moser and the PalFest 2016 tour are stopped in Hebron by an Israeli soldier
2016 Festival Report

NEW TALENT

Amina Abu Saft reads in Nablus (above) Ghiath al Madhoun reads in Haifa (below)

PalFest is committed to highlighting new Palestinian talent. 2016 featured 6 Palestinian authors
under the age of 30.
2016 Festival Report

TRANSLATION

PalFest bookstore which tours with the festival at Khalil Sakakini Cultural Center, Ramallah

Every year PalFest publishes an anthology of extracts from visiting authors works translated into
Arabic. Most translations are original, commissioned for the festival. Five hundred copies of the
anthology were printed and made available, free of charge, to the audience at every venue. Copies
were set aside for universities and public libraries and were later published online for free. All the
translators as well as the editor, Nada Hegazy, contributed their work free.
2016 Festival Report

TRANSLATION

Above: Ottoman Court, Ramallah | Below: Basima Takrouri at her live translation station

All events are in a combination of English and Arabic with live translation. Basima Takrouri was both
a featured author and our translator this year.
2016 Festival Report

TRANSLATION

PalFest tote canvas bags, bookmarks and posters are offered alongside books at our stalls

PalFest collaborated with several people to produce an original translation of Barry Lopezs The
Rediscovery of North America. The combined efforts of Tania Nasir, al-Ahlia Publishing House, Serene
Huleileh, the translator, and Zuleikha Abu Risha, the editor, as well as the generous support of Hooda
Shawa made the book possible.
2016 Festival Report

BOOKS

La Georgeson-Caparros tirelessly sells books to PalFest audiences across Palestine

Every year we bring in as many books as possible to sell at discount prices at our events. Every year
authors, publishers and booksellers donate substantial numbers of books - for which we are most
grateful. Not only do they donate their books - we make them bring them into the country in their
suitcases!
2016 Festival Report

REACTIONS

Every one of our public events was full, bringing our total estimated audience to 900.

A student enjoys a PalFest panel discussion at Bethlehem University


PalFest was a unique opportunity to
see and experience the architecture of
occupation in Palestine. We visited the
landscapes and cities at the center of a
century-long political struggle.
PalFest helped me understand firsthand
the power of space and place, real
and imagined, in shaping the lives and
histories of entire communities in this
contested small plot of land in the
Levant.
MOHAMED ELSHAHED

Mohamed elShahed inside the Ibrahimi Mosque, Hebron


2016 Festival Report

MEDIA

Our opening press release was widely redistributed.

JM Coetzees powerful statement on Palestine was covered in the South African Sunday Times,
multiple South African news outlets and Palestine-focussed websites. Our video of his remarks was
viewed 23,000 times.

Videos released by PalFest in 2016 were viewed over 55,000 times.

Laila Lalami wrote about her experiences for The Nation.

Lee Brackstone reported back for UK industry paper, The Bookseller.

Warscapes ran a podcast conversation between participants Jehan Bseiso and Bhakti Shringarpure.
Qantara also published an interview with Bseiso on returning from the festival.

Bhakti Shringarpure wrote about Palestine for The Funambulist and about the festival for Bookwitty.

Mada Masr ran a Q&A with Festival Producer, Yasmin El-Rifae.

The festival was written up in El Pais and the Jerusalem Post.

An additional 35,000 people have liked our Facebook page in 2016 - an average of 100 new likes a day
- taking our total to 135,000. Due to a change in Facebooks algorithm, though, this is much slower
growth than in 2015.
2016 Festival Report

BOOK

THIS IS NOT A BORDER


Reportage & Reflection from
the Palestine Festival of
Literature

Editors:
Ahdaf Soueif, Omar Robert Hamilton

Published 1 June 2017

Format Paperback

Edition 1st

Pages 320

ISBN 9781408884980

Imprint Bloomsbury Publishing

Dimensions 234 x 153 mm

To celebrate 10 years of PalFest, 2017 will see the release of This Is Not a Border, a collection of
articles, poems, impressions and stories produced by PalFest authors across the PalFest years.

PalFest is thrilled that this major milestone in its history will be published by Bloomsbury.

Contributors:

SUSAN ABULHAWA SUAD AMIRY VICTORIA BRITTAIN JEHAN BSEISO TEJU COLE
MOLLY CRABAPPLE SELMA DABBAGH MAHMOUD DARWISH NAJWAN DARWISH GEOFF DYER
YASMIN EL-RIFAE ADAM FOULDS RU FREEMAN OMAR ROBERT HAMILTON SUHEIR HAMMAD
NATHALIE HANDAL MOHAMMED HANIF JEREMY HARDING RACHEL HOLMES JOHN HORNER
REMI KANAZI BRIGID KEENAN MERCEDES KEMP OMAR EL-KHAIRY NANCY KRICORIAN
SABRINA MAHFOUZ JAMAL MAHJOUB HENNING MANKELL CLAIRE MESSUD CHINA MIVILLE
PANKAJ MISHRA DEBORAH MOGGACH MUIZ MAATH MUSLEH MICHAEL PALIN ED PAVLI
ATEF ABU SAIF KAMILA SHAMSIE RAJA SHEHADEH GILLIAN SLOVO AHDAF SOUEIF
LINDA SPALDING WILLIAM SUTCLIFFE ALICE WALKER

With messages from: CHINUA ACHEBE JM COETZEE MICHAEL ONDAATJE


2016 Festival Report

BEYOND THE FESTIVAL

Keep Gaza Children Warm gofundme campaign, by Anees Mansour for The Hope and Peace Foundation

We use our Facebook and Twitter pages to share Palestine-focussed news throughout the year,
reaching an average of 50,000 people per week.

We use our social media outreach to help crowdfund for several initiatives, the most regular of which
is The Hope and Peace Foundation - a volunteer-led organisation in Rafah, Gaza, dedicated to helping
marginalised children with physical, educational and psycho-social support.

We collaborate closely with Palestine-focussed organisations in the US. In 2016 we collaborated with
Adalah-NY on a campaign to pressure the PEN American Center to reject sponsorship from the Israeli
government. Dozens of ex-PalFestivalians signed a public letter, making up a large proportion of the
signatories. The campaign is ongoing.

We were honoured to co-present the short film selection at this years Boston Palestine Film Festival
and we are currently planning a London event in cooperation with Faber Social. We were consulted
by the Jaipur International Literature Festival and the Asian Womens Film Festival on their line-ups.
We were honoured to be asked to lend our name in support of the inaugural Nablus Cultural Festival.
PalFest producer, Beesan Ramadan, with her sister listening to Laila Lalami at the Municipal Library Gardens, Nablus 25 May
2016 Festival Report

STAFF

Board of Trustees Anthology Editor & Translation THANKS


Omar Robert Hamilton Nada Hegazy Mahmoud Abuhashhash
Nathalie Handal Abdelfattah Abusrour
John Horner, Treasurer Anthology Translators Eyad Barghuthy
Brigid Keenan Ahmed Hossam Omar Barghouti
Ahdaf Soueif, Founding Chair Ahmed El Hosseiny Wafa Darwish
Ahmed Mohamed Adel Ramallah Municipality
Festival Producers Aya Mohamed Hussein Ray Dolphin
Omar Robert Hamilton Boshra Anis Ru Freeman
Yasmin El-Rifae Nada Hegazy Paola Handal
Beesan Ramadan Passant Ali Amin The Hebron Rehabilitation
Shady Tareq El Sawy Committee
Art Director Sumaya Mamdouh Al Shamy Rasha Hilwi
Muiz Yasmin Mohsen Raneen Jeries
Yosra Mustafa Yazan Khalili
Gaza Coordinator Suha Khuffash
Ebaa Rezeq Brochure Coordinator Safwan Masri
Yasmin Mohsen Brendan McSharry
Haifa Partners Nablus Municipal Library
The Arab Culture Association Bookseller Dar Issaf Nashashibi
La Georgeson-Caparros Tania Nasir
Nablus Partners Durania Freeman Mazin Qumsiyeh
Project Hope Pronto Caf
Media Coordinator Hakim Sabbah
Consultants Sharif Abdel Kouddous Raja Shehadeh
Hussam Ghosheh Rick Simonson
Maath Musleh Merchandise Haneen Tartir
Ismail Richard Hamilton Hosh el Yasmine
Literary Advisors Warscapes
Najwan Darwish Film
Matthew Hamilton Murat Gkmen
Nathan Hamilton
Live Translation
Basima Takrori

Photography
Rob Stothard

PR
FMcM

PalFest Logo
Jeff Fisher
PalFest is a celebration of the written
PalFest is a celebration of the written
word, a stand against injustice, and a
word, a stand against injustice, and a
call to witness.
call to witness. LAILA LALAMI
LAILA LALAMI

Laila Lalami observes the ever shifting Palestinian landscape from the PalFest tour bus
PalFest 2017 will be running from May 13th to 18th with a line-up that grows stronger with each new confirmation.
2016 Festival Report