[act-ma] Sunday June 24th at the Armory in Somerville: "Her Story Is: performances and presentations" : U.S. & Iraqi women artist collaboration

Mary C. Curtin mary.c.curtin at gmail.com
Tue Jun 19 13:40:53 PDT 2018

Her Story Is

performances and presentations

co-presented by
Fort Point Theatre Channel (FPTC),
The Joiner Institute for the Study of War
and Social Consequences (UMass Boston),
the Odysseus Project,
the Center for Arabic Culture,
and partners in Iraq

June 24, Arts at the Armory, Somerville

[was also held on June 15 in Boston's Seaport District]

Her Story Is : performances and presentations. An evening of theater,
poetry, visual art, and music; artistic results from a yearlong
collaboration involving U.S. and Iraqi women artists. Presented by Fort
Point Theatre Channel, the Joiner Institute for the Study of War and Social
Consequences, the Odysseus Project, the Center for Arabic Culture, and
partners in Iraq. Sunday, June 24, 7:00-8:30 pm. Arts at the Armory, 191
Highland Ave., Somerville 02143. Free and open to all. For more information:
www.fortpointtheatrechannel.org <http://www.fortpointtheatrechannel.org/> ,
617-750-8900,  <mailto:info at fortpointtc.org> info at fortpointtc.org.

The Her Story Is (HSI) project presents multi-disciplinary art work emerging
from a collaborative exploration among women artists from Iraq and the
Boston area. HSI celebrates common ground among the artists in both
countries, while acknowledging profound cultural and political differences.
The presentations cap several years of programming, research, and exhibition
between artists and scholars from Iraq and the Boston area.

The artists in the project have worked together for the past year,
communicating electronically and meeting at a five-day workshop in December,
2017. At that time, three of the Iraqi artists met with four Boston-area
artists in Dubai, a location accessible to both groups. Joining them were
three translators who were full participants in the workshop, including Amir
Al-Azraki, an Iraqi-Canadian scholar, playwright, and cofounder of HSI.

Her Story Is : performances and presentations will also be held on Friday,
June 15, 7:00-8:30 pm, at the Gallery at Atlantic Wharf, 290 Congress St.,
Boston 02210. For further details on the events scheduled around this
collaborative art project, please refer to
www.fortpointtheatrechannel.org/index/#/her-story-is/ for updates.

Further background information:

In Dubai last December, the artists offered intensive sessions for one
another on their disciplines, while also telling deeply personal and moving
stories about their lives and work. All were women whose lives had been
shaped in different ways by war. For example, Nadia Sekran, a translator and
a researcher, defined herself as "an Iraqi woman and survivor of three
wars":  the Iran-Iraq war of the 1980s, the 1991 Gulf War, and the 2003
American invasion of Iraq.  Jennifer Jean, a poet from Peabody, MA, spoke
about being the daughter of a Vietnam veteran. The project participants
laughed, cried, and began mapping out ways in which they would work together
once the workshop was over.

The HSI program in June will include 10 presentations, including new works
by Iraqi poet Hana Ahmed and Boston poet Jennifer Jean and a staged reading
of a new play co-written by Amy Merrill in Boston and Elham Nasser
Al-Zabeedy in Iraq. Also featured will be videos from the workshop by Boston
filmmaker Lillie Paquette, art from Iraq by Maryam Mohsen, Thaira Al Mayahi,
and Elham Al-Zabeedy, and commentaries by several projects participants.

An exhibit at Atlantic Wharf, June 7-22, will include art by several of the
Iraqi women in the project, including the remarkable work of Al-Zabeedy, a
visual artist, activist, and president of the Lotus Women's Cultural League
in Iraq, one of the HSI cosponsors. Anne Loyer, a Boston-based artist
committed to visual storytelling and a coordinator of HSI, is organizing and
curating the exhibit.

The presentations in Boston and Somerville parallel public events in Iraq
this spring and coming up later this year. And the women expect to continue
their work together, overcoming barriers separating their nations.

What energizes the women to keep going with the collaboration -- emails,
Skype calls, and meetings -- is their commitment to the use of art to
promote dialogue and understanding between people who have been separated by
geography and war. The Dubai workshop and the events in the Boston-area aim
to achieve what the governments of Iraq and the US have not yet
accomplished: mutual respect and understanding.

Her Story Is represents the current phase in an ongoing collaboration among
Fort Point Theatre Channel, UMass Boston's Joiner Institute for the Study of
War and Social Consequences, the University of Basra, the Center for Arabic
Culture, the Odysseus Project, playwright Amir Al Azraki, and the Lotus
Women's Cultural League in Iraq.


--submitted by marycurtinproductions (on behalf of FPTC)
c/o Mary Curtin
PO Box 290703, Charlestown, MA 02129
617-470-5867 (cell), mary.c.curtin at gmail.com
<mailto:mary.c.curtin at gmail.com> 
"dedicated to staging insightful entertainment, particularly in
non-traditional venues"
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