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MOMENTUM READING GROUPS

The Revolution’s Promise is a verbatim, testimonial script, created from interviews with artists across Palestine. It celebrates cultural resistance and highlights the brutal attacks artists face for speaking out about Palestinian rights, including arrest, imprisonment, torture and murder.

 

Reading Groups have been designed specifically in collaboration with Momentum alongside The Freedom Theatre, Jenin Refugee Camp and their associate company Artists On The Frontline.

 

It is a participatory format which is simple to organise and aims to engage local groups in learning more about the situation in Palestine, the diversity of tactics used to stand up to oppression and mobilise action. 

 

Momentum will support groups of our members to meet in real life or on zoom to read Script Extracts, and discuss the themes, including how to implement Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions in their local areas and workplaces.

 

Whether you are a local Momentum group, Momentum members at large, a Transformed Group, or just activists interested in learning more about Palestine and supporting the project, we invite you to get involved and join a global conversation about censorship of Palestinian culture and the role Art and Culture plays in fighting for justice, equality and self-determination. 

 

If your group is already engaged in Palestinian solidarity and/or feeling ambitious, please follow the link on how to put on a full-scale public reading of the script >>

GUIDE TO ORGANISING
A READING GROUP

WHAT YOU WILL NEED:

  • A meeting space or online account (eg zoom)

  • At least one person to lead the event (from now on we will call them the FACILITATOR)

  • Someone to take notes

  • Between 6 to 30 participants

  • Identify a few confident public readers before the event and send them the Script Extracts Please note this is not essential.

  • The Script Extracts are available at >>

  • A few large pieces of paper and a pen

  • Have a system to follow up and connect participants after the event.

 

If you are meeting online:

 

  • Be able to make breakout groups

  • Have the questions ready to post to the chat as you go along

  • Have the document of the Script Extracts ready to share at the beginning of the event in the chat, so people can read them out loud

If you are meeting in person:

 

  • A chair for everyone set out in a circle

  • Printouts of the Script Extracts available at >>

  • Questions written down on large paper

 

ROLE OF FACILITATOR:

 

  • Run the event 

  • Set out chairs

  • Time keep

  • A script for the facilitator is available here >>

 

FURTHER NOTES:

 

  • NEED HELP: Please contact london@peoplesmomentum.com with the heading READING GROUP TRP

  • For Reading Groups we have taken Script Extracts of the full script and edited them in the form of monologues. These should be easy to read and no prior rehearsal is needed.

  • LEARNING AND RESOURCE MATERIALS: For information on each artist featured, maps, historical timelines, information on BDS, and further reading and film lists go here >>

  • DESIGN PACK: If you want to create a flyer or social media post to encourage your members to come please go here >>

READING GROUP FORMAT

Please note this is a suggested format and you are welcome to edit and adapt as you see fit. We do ask that the INTRODUCTION is read out as this contains essential information about the project and artists.

TOTAL TIME: 1hr 30mins

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FACILITATOR SCRIPT

INTRODUCTION (5 mins)

 

The FACILITATOR welcomes the group and reads out the INTRODUCTION below:

 

FACILITATOR: The Revolution’s Promise is a verbatim, testimonial script, created from interviews with artists across Palestine as well as material available online. 

 

People were interviewed separately, without knowing who else was being interviewed. Each interviewee’s perspective, thoughts and ideas are solely their own.

 

For Momentum Reading Groups we have taken extracts of the full script and edited them into monologues.

 

Today’s format will include reading these monologues/testimonies and having structured discussions.

 

The entire script is available to read and perform, alongside learning and resource materials, at: www.therevolutionspromise.com 

 

We will start by reading three testimonies.

 

PART ONE

 

READ/LISTEN TO THREE TESTIMONIES (each one 3 mins)

 

The FACILITATOR invites a PARTICIPANT to read aloud MOHAMMED BAKRI'S testimony >>

The FACILITATOR invites a PARTICIPANT to read aloud DAREEN TATOUR’S testimony >>

 

The FACILITATOR invites a PARTICIPANT to read aloud ALI ABU YASSEN’S testimony >>

 

BREAKOUT GROUPS (10 mins)

 

The FACILITATOR asks people to; break into groups of roughly 5, go around and introduce themselves, for the next ten minutes discuss these two questions:

 

  • ‘Why is art and culture such a powerful tool in standing up to oppression?’ 

 

  • ‘Why do you feel the work of artists is being censored?’

 

SHARING OF REFLECTIONS (5 mins)

 

The FACILITATOR invites people back into a circle and asks each group to share one thought on each question. The notetaker writes these down.

 

PART TWO

 

READ/LISTEN TO AHMED TOBASI'S TESTIMONY (5 mins)

 

The FACILITATOR invites a PARTICIPANT to read aloud AHMED TOBASI’S testimony >>

 

BREAKOUT GROUPS (5 mins)

 

The FACILITATOR asks people to; break into groups of roughly 5, go around and introduce themselves, for the five minutes discuss this question:

 

  • ‘How does this personal account differ from what we hear about Palestine, Palestinians and the occupation in the Western media?’

 

SHARING OF REFLECTIONS (5 mins)

 

The FACILITATOR invites people back into a circle and asks each group to share one thought on the question. The notetaker writes these down.

 

PART THREE

 

READ/LISTEN TO OMAR BARGHOUTI'S READ TESTIMONY (5 mins)

 

The FACILITATOR invites a PARTICIPANT to read aloud OMAR BARGHOUTI’S testimony >>

 

BREAKOUT GROUPS (10 mins)

 

The FACILITATOR asks people to; break into groups of roughly 5, go around and introduce themselves, for the next ten minutes discuss these two questions:

 

  • ‘Have you heard about boycott strategies being used against states other than Israel, and/or at different points in history?’

 

  • ‘Why do you think Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions movement might be an effective tactic?’

 

SHARING OF REFLECTIONS (5 mins)

 

The FACILITATOR invites people back into a circle and asks each group to share one thought on each question. The notetaker writes these down.

 

MOVING INTO ACTION

 

READ/LISTEN TO THE STATEMENT ON CURRENT SITUATION (5 mins)

 

The FACILITATOR reads the CURRENT SITUATION: 

 

FACILITATOR:  The testimonies read today are only a few of many... 

 

Artists continue to be targeted, facing arrest, imprisonment, torture and threats on their lives.

 

On the 4th of April, 2011, Juliano Mer Khamis, the co-founder and artistic director of The Freedom Theatre, was murdered. Shot five times by an unknown masked man just steps away from the theatre. 

 

The Freedom Theatre and cultural organisations across Palestine continue to be raided and attacked by the Israeli army. Internationally, work is targeted by Israeli lobby groups and its embassies’ who often succeed in getting it cancelled.

 

Palestinian artists are often restricted or banned from travelling out of the West Bank and have difficulty obtaining visas from other countries. International artists wanting to collaborate in Palestine are repeatedly refused entrance by Isreal.

 

The borders of Gaza have remained closed since 2007, with a complete restriction on entering or exiting.

 

In 2021, Palestinian cultural organisations lost the majority of their core funding after refusing the demands of international donors to depoliticise their work.

 

Ahmed Tobasi, the current Artistic Director of The Freedom Theatre, said on launching The Revolution’s Promise:

 

'As our borders become harder to cross, our funding removed, and censorship of our voices continues, it is crucial that we find new ways to mobilise as Palestinian artists. The Revolution's Promise makes sure our voice is still heard internationally, whilst putting pressure on Israel to stop the attacks on artists.'

 

The entire script is available to read and perform, alongside learning & resource materials and more information on joining the Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions movement: www.therevolutionspromise.com 

 

BREAKOUT GROUPS (10 mins)

 

The FACILITATOR asks people to; break into groups of roughly 5, go around and introduce themselves, for the next ten minutes discuss these four questions:

 

  • ‘Where might you be able to read out a testimony? For example your student union, workplace, acting group?’

 

  • 'Where might you be able to implement Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions? For example, your local area/council/workplace/place of education’

 

  • 'Is there potential to organise a reading of the full-scale script for a public event in our area?'

 

  • 'Are there other ways to build solidarity with Palestine?'

 

SHARING OF REFLECTIONS (10 mins)

 

The FACILITATOR invites people back into a circle and asks each group to share what action they might take. The notetaker writes these down.

 

The FACILITATOR lets everyone know how they can stay connected in order to move forward with this action. If there is enough interest a working group could be established.

The FACILITATOR reminds everyone that further information is available at www.therevolutionspromise.com 

 

The FACILITATOR thanks everyone for coming and closes the event.