An international group of acclaimed cartoonists will demonstrate the destructive absurdity of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict through an exhibition of cartoons which will be on display at The Playhouse this month.
The exhibition, which will be opened on United Nations Day, Monday October 24 at 1pm, features some 35 cartoonists from more than 20 countries, and is the idea of The Parents' Circle, a group of bereaved Palestinian and Israeli families who wanted to highlight the futility of violence in the region.
Artists who have contributed work to Cartooning in Conflict include Pulitzer Prize winners Pat Oliphant and Jim Morin; Polish-born satirist Andrzej Krauze; Britain's David Bromley, and Japan's Norio Yamanoi.
Many of the cartoons feature two sides locked in conflict despite pleas for peace from innocent people caught up in the violence. A battered dove of peace appears prominently in many.
"Cartoons by their very nature can be abusive and extreme, funny and painful. The truth comes out with just a few strokes of the brush" said Robi Damelin, a member of the Parents Circle - Families Forum, who came up with the idea for the exhibition.
"These works illustrate the destructive absurdity of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and, more importantly serve as a catalyst for hope by allowing the audience to imagine a path to reconciliation and peace."
The Parents Circle-Families Forum was founded in 1995 and consists of 500 Israeli and Palestinian bereaved families who work together to promote peace through reconciliation and understanding by aiming to use their own painful experiences to promote reconciliation.
Robi's son David, 28, a student at Tel Aviv University, was serving as a reservist in the Israeli army when he was killed by a Palestinian sniper. She now travels the world with Palestinian members of the group to promote the message that there will only be peace in the Middle East with reconciliation. She has been accompanied at many of the events by Seham Ikhlayel-Abu-Awwad, whose brother was killed by an Israeli soldier. Seham's whole childhood and life have been affected by the conflict. She grew up in Beit Ummar where her mother was often imprisoned for her political activities.
Both of them visited Northern Ireland in 2010 with the exhibition and were so impressed by the public's reaction to the cartoons, particularly in relation to our own conflict here, that they donated the cartoons to Community Dialogue to use as a tool for ongoing dialogues.
Community Dialogue is made up of people from diverse communities within Northern Ireland. As a group they take no position on party-political issues and believe that if we want a better future we need to take time to listen to each other and to question ourselves. The cartoon exhibition has provided a unique way to engage people in dialogue and to encourage people to view the cartoons from the perspective of the conflict that has taken place in Northern Ireland.
The organization has brought the exhibition to The Playhouse in partnership with The Playhouse International Culture Arts Network (ICAN). ICAN is an innovative project with a programme consisting of international residencies, local projects and conferences.
The exhibition will be launched at the Playhouse on Monday 24th October which is United Nations Day, at 1pm, light lunch will be served. There are a series of activities planned throughout the week. The first is a Dialogue discussion on people's impressions of the Cartoons, on Tuesday 25th October at 7pm which will enable participants to verbally and creatively respond to these international exhibited cartoons. On Wednesday 26th October interested school groups are invited to join this creative conversation in a two hour workshop from 10 - 12midday (booking is essential). All events are free and all are welcome to participate.
For further information contact Jim O'Neill at 02890 351450 or firstname.lastname@example.org or Elaine Forde ICAN coordinator on (028)71268027 or Elaine@derryplayhouse.co.uk.
Community Dialogue is an organisation committed to a dialogue process, developed over the years, to help transform understanding and build trust amongst people who often hold opposing political, social and religious views.
The Playhouse International Culture Arts Network (ICAN) is an innovative project with a programme consisting of international residencies, local projects and conferences. ICAN is a three year project which has been part-financed by the European Union's Regional Development fund through EU Programme for Peace and Reconciliation (Peace III) managed through Special EU Programmes Body.
The Playhouse Theatre is core funded by the Arts Council for Northern Ireland and Derry City Council.