We've launched the At Home in Gaza and London crowdfunder!

We've launched the At Home in Gaza and London crowdfunder!

On 29th June we launched our crowdfunder for At Home in Gaza and London at Toynbee Studios in London, with guests Inua Ellams, Jeremy Hardy, Ahmed Masoud, Miranda Pennell, Larissa Sansour, Juliana Yazbeck and Rafeef Ziadeh, contributing to a great evening of poetry, film, music and comedy, and MH Sarkis who donated a painting to a silent auction.  

The money will go towards a month-long workshop from 13 October - 17 November, leading to a full scale production in 2017. We need to bring equipment into Gaza, provide infrastructure such as generators, rent rehearsal space, and pay our participating artists.

This project is all about artistic collaboration. It brings together performers and audiences in utterly different situations to share a common enterprise. Watch the video, help make it happen.

Photography training for NGOs

Photography training for NGOs

Pressure Cooker Arts recently provided a three-day, customised photography course for UK-based charity, Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP). Given our understanding of the communications and marketing needs of NGOs like MAP, we were able to create tailor-made training that included a thorough grounding in photography basics, as well as capturing the types of images that enable NGOs to convey the breadth of their work and to successfully fundraise for projects. 

Fleur van der Sande, Programme Support Officer at MAP's West Bank office, said: 'The training was very relevant as I provide a lot of photos for the London office. It was good to know the types of images that are successful and the things that MAP has done in the past.' 

Here are a few examples of events we photographed during the training trip. They include a demonstration where Palestinian students were shot at with live ammunition, a rubber coated steel bullet collected from a Palestinian Red Crescent Society ambulance that was targeted by Israeli forces in Qalandiya - which damaged the ambulance and jeopardised the safety of the paramedics - and the visit of MAP's mobile clinic to a Bedouin encampment in the West Bank.

A sample of photos taken during our three day training trip.

Psychosocial Photography Project in Gaza

Psychosocial Photography Project in Gaza

Pressure Cooker Arts is currently working in partnership with Nawa for Culture and Arts Association (NCAA) in Deir al Balah, on a pilot series of educational/psychosocial photography workshops for children in Gaza from the ages of 10-15.

Experience highlights the need for international aid to go beyond delivering food, water and shelter and ensuring a child’s physical safety. There is not only an urgent need for psychosocial support for children, but also for investing in innovative projects that work closely with local grass-roots organisations and communities. So we're delighted to be working with NCAA, which was founded in 2014 by a group of young, passionate, dedicated and educated Palestinians to help empower their local communities through culture and arts programmes. 

Our photography workshops are designed to help young participants to rebuild meaning, coherence and self-continuity, to relieve stress, and to limit the development of further complications, while also addressing interpersonal, family, social and cultural issues. 

The aim is to establish a framework that can be run by local photographers/facilitators and youth trained in subsequent years, ensuring greater ownership, transfer of skills and a path to sustainability over time. 

We are hugely grateful to the Network for Social Change for their generous contribution in support of the project. However, the project is not yet fully funded; please click on the button below to make a donation.

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At Home in Gaza and London

At Home in Gaza and London

Pressure Cooker Arts is delighted to be co-producing, together with Artsadmin, At Home in Gaza and London, a Station House Opera performance project that uses digital technologies to bring together the lives of people in locations separated by great political, economic and physical divides.

By using a mix of live-streaming and recorded video, a single performance space is created where artists work together. They occupy each other's homes, streets and other social spaces to share their everyday behaviour and concerns, as they dissolve into each other or become ghostly protagonists in the drama.

Adapting the simple video technologies available in places with limited internet or technical resources, At Home in Gaza and London opens a new way for artists to engage with each other across the world, allows audiences to participate and meet, and presents a direct and personal response to the problems of Gaza and its isolation.

Having established a strong team and tested video techniques during a two-week residency in January - as part of the Digital Utopia initiative sponsored by LIFT, Watermans Arts Centre and Somerset House - we are currently raising funds for a four-week research and development workshop from October-November 2016. The workshop will focus on developing the participants's stories and interactions for a full production in Gaza and London in 2017/18.

To support the project just click the donate button below.

At Home in Gaza and London residency, January 2016.

APACE - Access for Palestinians: Arts, Culture & Education

APACE - Access for Palestinians: Arts, Culture & Education

We are extremely grateful for the support of The Clark Charitable Trust, which is enabling us to begin work on the first phase of a new project, 'APACE' - Access for Palestinians: Arts, culture and education.

Arts, culture and education have a special role to play in strengthening resilience and opening a space to address problems creatively. Yet, Palestinian arts projects and educational exchanges are being scuppered because getting materials, people and artwork across borders is being blocked. 

In addition to the economic barriers and other constraints imposed by Israel’s military occupation on Palestinian art, culture and education, there is concern about professionals working in these fields being detained or refused entry into to occupied Palestine. The problem is particularly acute in Gaza, where international entry is strictly limited under Israel’s blockade to journalists or humanitarian workers delivering aid.

In recent years, an increasing number of reports have also emerged regarding Palestinian artists, academics, speakers and students being denied visas to come to the UK to participate in projects, exhibitions, talks and conferences.

Until now, organisations and individuals have been dealing with these access issues in isolation. But this approach is not working. 

In the coming months, Pressure Cooker Arts will establish a UK action group to provide a platform for people working on Palestinian arts, culture and education projects to share their experiences, to assess the scale of the problem and to produce a report documenting delays or denials of entry of Palestinians and UK citizens by the Israeli and UK authorities.

If you or your organisation are working are working on arts, culture or education projects with Palestinians and have experienced access problems please contact us at info@pressurecookerarts.org

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