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[casi-analysis] Theatre- maker Jawad Al Assadi

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Dear members of the CASI Iraq discussion list,

Via Colin Rowat I received your e-mail address. Colin Rowat suggested that you might be interested 
to be informed that the Iraqi theatre maker Jawad Al Assadi will be coming to London this Wednesday 
for the premiere of his play "Women in War" at oh!art, Oxford House, Derbyshire Street, London
The play will be on staged until the 21st of November.
On the 14th will be a discussion on "War Stories" in which Jawad Al Assadi is participating.

Please fin beneath the entire information on the venues and also the press release of the Prince 
Claus Fund, since Jawad Al Assadi is awarded the prestigious Prince Claus Awards this year.

If you might have further question, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Yours sincerely,

Christine Wagner
press & publicity

Prince Claus Fund
Hoge Nieuwstraat 30
2514 El  Den Haag
The Netherlands
phone: + 31 70 427 4303
fax: + 31 70 427 42 77

 Az Theatre and oh!art present:
War Stories

Directed by Johnathan Chadwick

oh!art, Oxford House from 8th November

Press Night: Wednesday 10th November at 7.45pm

How is our identity shaped by our war stories?   Can you imagine a world without war?

War Stories is a three week festival of plays, poetry, workshops and exhibitions exploring how 
individual, national and cultural identity is shaped by war. The programme has been developed in 
the context oh!art's 2004 theme of identity.  All three of the following short plays will be 
presented each evening:

Women in War by Jawad al-Asadi                                     English Language Premiere

A graduate of the Baghdad Theatre Academy, Iraqi writer Jawad portrays the plight of three women in 
a refugee shelter displaced by the recent invasion of Iraq.  They are from different parts of Iraq, 
but, endangered by their exile, they fight for survival together.  This play will also be performed 
in Baghdad at the same time as its run throughout the War Stories festival.

Strive by Stephen Lowe

Against the background of the Falklands war, Reagan's Star Wars project and the women's protest 
camp outside the US cruise missile base at Greenham Common, a soldier returns to meet his 
girlfriend who is convinced she must take action for peace.

Atsumori by Motokiyo Zeami                                         English Language Premiere

A classic warrior play from the founding genius of Noh Theatre.  Years after he killed an 
adversary, a warrior returns to the scene find redemption and reconciliation.

Az Theatre developed in 2004 from Meeting Ground Theatre Company.  Under Artistic Director 
Johnathan Chadwick, their work includes a variety of international projects in with people effected 
by war, including attempts to create long term theatre development at the Bourj al Barajneh 
Palestinian refugee camp in Lebanon.

At the core of War Stories is a partnership between Az Theatre, Bazaart (Serbia), Theatre for 
Everybody (Palestine) and Masrah El Tedj (Algeria) in association with the Sibiu International 
Theatre Festival (Romania).  In 2005 Az Theatre will be preparing a production in Algeria for 
presentation at the Sibiu Festival early in June.

Performance schedule: Atsumori, Strive, fifteen minute interval, Women in War.

Art Exhibition

From Wednesday 10th Nov  there will be an exhibition of work at oh!art from a number of artists, 
centred on a specially devised participatory installation exploring the theme of war, identity and 

Listings Information
Venue:          oh!art
Address:        Oxford House, Derbyshire Street, London, E2 6HG
Dates:          8th - 27th Nov, Tues - Sat (with preview Mon 8th Nov, special perf Sunday 21st Nov).
                Signed performance: Thurs 18th Nov.
Times:          19.45pm, with special perf on Sunday 21st Nov at 15.45pm.
Price:          £10, £6. All workshops, forums and special performances are FREE.
Box Office:     020 7749 1164
Transport:      Bethnal Green tube, 5 mins walk along Bethnal Green Rd. Derbyshire St 6th road on 


All events at oh!art, Oxford House.

Sunday 14th Nov  War Stories Forum

11.00am Women and War.  Exploring the relationship between women in "war receiver" and "war 
provider" countries. The session will consult women in war specialist Cynthia Cockburn and Act 
Together, a women's group active on the issue of Iraq.

13.30pm Art, Theatre and War.  Stephen Lowe, Jawad al-Asadi and Eunice Wanjiru are invited to 
discuss whether art can play a therapeutic or activist role in relationship to war.

15.30pm Abolishing War.  Raising the question of pacifism is relation to war abolition and looking 
at current forms of resistance including the Peace Tax Seven's campaign to withhold taxes.

17.30pm Until He Hums Again by Eunice Wanjiru:  special workshop presentation followed by short 

Saturday 20th Nov  Workshop / Performance

17.00pm Cardboard Citizens, the UK's only homeless people's professional theatre company will be 
looking at stories contributed by ex-soldiers and servicemen.

18.45pm Presentation of Mistake by Václav Havel in oh! art foyer.

Sunday 21st Nov  Poetry Reading

18.00pm A special reading of War, a series of poems by Harold Pinter and four poems by Ariel 
Dorfman written during the run up to the invasion of Iraq.  Deborah Findlay, David Calder and 
Harriet Walter have been asked to take part in this public reading.

Saturday 27th Nov  Workshop / Performance / Club night

16.30pm Andre Pink from Anglo-Brazilian company Dende Collective (of the recent hit Piranha Lounge) 
will be exploring Arrabel's play, Guernica, with actors and Iraqi writers.

18.45pm Presentation of Mistake by Václav Havel in oh! art foyer.

22.00pm Shock and Awe club night, featuring poetry readings, DJs and stand up comedy.

Further information: <> or 

Press Release
The Hague, 4 November 2004

Prince Claus Award Goes to Experimental Theatre-Maker Jawad Al Assadi from Iraq

Jawad Al Assadi (1947, Iraq) is the recipient of one of this year's prestigious Prince Claus Awards 
of EUR 25,000. He has been granted this award for his dedication to freedom of cultural expression. 
Al Assadi is one of the most authoritative and innovative experimental theatre-makers in the Arab 
world and believes that theatre contributes to a critical social awareness.

Jawad Al Assadi fled Saddam Hussein's Iraq and spent 25 years in various Arab countries.
He feels that theatre plays an important role in the development of a critical social awareness. Al 
Assadi often works with young actors and, as a teacher, he contributes to the development of 
progressive thinking about theatre in this region. He has worked as a cultural advisor at the 
United Arab Emirates' Ministry of Culture in Abu Dhabi, but has now returned to Iraq where he 
recently set up the Gilgamesh Arts Centre in Baghdad.

The jury particularly valued Al Assadi's active role in the struggle for freedom of thought and 
cultural expression both in Iraq and beyond.

The Principal Prince Claus Award of EUR 100,000 has been awarded to:

Mahmoud Darwish (1942, Palestine). He is one of the most important contemporary Arab poets to 
achieve international fame. His award has been granted for his impressive oeuvre in which he 
articulates his personal experiences as a poet in protracted exile in simple but powerful language. 
His work draws attention to the consequences of forced migration and he consistently emphasises the 
power of beauty in difficult circumstances.

The other Prince Claus Awards of EUR 25,000 go to:

The Bhutan Archery Federation (1970, Bhutan): an active voluntary organisation that strives
to maintain and develop traditional archery as a national sport.
Ivaldo Bertazzo (1949, Brazil): a choreographer, dance teacher and movement therapist.
Halet Çambel (1916, Turkey): an archaeologist who undertook important research involving 
excavations and the restoration of the famous Karatepe Aslantas fortress in Anatolia.
Omara Khan Massoudi (1948, Afghanistan): the director of Kabul's National Museum who managed to 
safeguard important parts of its collection during the Taliban regime at considerable risk to his 
own life.
Aminata Traoré, (1947, Mali): a social and cultural activist who emphasises the relation between 
economy, politics and culture.
Memoria Abierta (1999, Argentina): an alliance of seven human rights organisations that work to 
preserve the memory of state terrorism in Argentina.
Farroukh Qasim (1948, Tajikistan): an actor and director who has modernised Tajiki theatre.

The Prince Claus Fund is a platform for intercultural exchange. It works jointly with individuals 
and organisations that are mainly located in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean on the 
realisation of activities and publications reflecting a contemporary approach to the theme of 
culture and development. The Prince Claus Awards form a part of this policy and have been presented 
annually by the Fund since 1997. Through these awards, the Fund pays homage to the laureates for 
their oeuvre and their dedication to culture and social engagement.

For further information about the Prince Claus Awards (including interviews and visual materials), 
please contact:
The Prince Claus Fund for Culture and Development
Tel.: + 31(0)70.4274303
Christine Wagner: +31(0)6.55577790, 
Lieke Vervoorn: +31(0)6.10713224, 
www. <http://www.>

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