PREVIOUS WEDNESDAY SESSIONS


MAY 2012 WEDNESDAY SESSION:
30 May - Film Screening of "Lemon Tree"
This month's Wednesday Session (30 May) we will feature a film screening of the highly acclaimed film, Lemon Tree:

LEMON TREE
Released: 2008
Duration: 106 min
Director: Eran Riklis
Writers: Eran Riklis and Suha Arraf
Actors: Hiam Abbass, Rona Lipaz-Michael and Ali Suliman

About the Movie:
Salma Zidane lives in a tiny Palestinian village in the Occupied West Bank. She is 45 years old and a widow. When the Israeli Minister of Defense builds a house next door, Selma's lemon trees come to the attention of his bodyguards - her trees are deemed a "security risk". 

With her daughters married and her son working in the USA, Salma finds herself isolated. But that hasn't sapped her spirit, so she challenges the Israeli military by taking the issue to court. Salma finds a young lawyer who will take the case all the way to Israel's Supreme Court. However, Ziad Daud, the young attorney, is up against a battery of conniving Israeli military lawyers. It's an unfair battle, that isn't made any easier when the 45-year-old widow falls in love with her lawyer, a divorcee ten years her junior…

Lemon Tree is a moving personal story but also one that throws light on issues such as Israel's Apartheid Wall, its illegal Settlements and its flawed legal system.

The movie will be followed by a brief presentation by a legal specialist who will provide his insights  on some of the cases that have come before the Israeli Supreme Court, specifically those relating to the Israeli Wall. His presentation will tie in to the plot of the movie, specifically exploring the legal context within the storyline and whether Palestinians should even consider using Israeli courts, which in a way may legitimate the Israeli regime.




APRIL 2012 WEDNESDAY SESSION:
25 April - "The Flying Dancer from Ramallah"
This month's Wednesday Session (25 January) will feature two exciting components:

>> Presentation by "The Flying Dancer from Ramallah", Sharaf DarZaid
Sharaf DarZaid has been dubbed the "Flying Dancer from Ramallah" due to his exceptional ability to dance. DarZaid is a Palestinian dancer and choreographer from the village of Al-Bireh, in Palestine. He is currently in South Africa doing research for his Masters Thesis, which he will present on at this month's Wednesday Session. His topic is: "Art, and the role of artists, under conditions of oppression - cultural resistance in South Africa and Palestine". Sharaf is is also member of the International Dance Council and he will screen several short video clips from his recent international performances. Click here to read an article on Sharaf DarZaid.

>> Video and Discussion by Themba Nkabinde of Moving Into Dance Mophatong
Themba Nkabinde was born in Dobsonville, Soweto. He started at Moving into Dance Mophatong (MIDM) in 1992 and is now MIDM's Deputy Artistic Director. MIDM was founded in 1987 as a non-racial dance company and training organization where dance was used as a form of cultural resistance against apartheid. Nkabinde will screen a short 20-minute video on artistic resistance during apartheid and will then lead a discussion on the topic.



JANUARY 2012 WEDNESDAY SESSION:
25 March - Book Review and Live Band!
This month's Wednesday Session (25 January) will feature two exciting components: 
>> Book Review of Susan Abulhawa's "Mornings in Jenin"
Joni Barnard, a drama practitioner, choreographer and lecturer at Wits University will review Susan Abulhawa's "passionate and powerful" novel, 'Mornings in Jenin'.  The UK's Independent Newspaper has said: "Abulhawa's writing shines, at best assured and unsentimental. Young Amal [the main character] and her best friend, Huda, shelter in a cellar during the Israeli Six Day War, clutching the corpse of a baby cousin, but it's the loss of a doll and their secret playhouse in the bombing that hurts more. Friendship, adolescence, love: ordinary events, offset against extraordinary circumstances, make the story live." Click here to download the first section of the novel.

>> Live music performance by The Mavrix
The roots of The Mavrix go back to the 80's and the struggle against apartheid in South Africa. The founding members, Jeremy Karodia and Ayub Mayet, floated in and out of their roles as activists and artists, artists and activists and finally settling as activist artists. The Mavrix now consist of Jeremy Karodia, Ravi Naidoo, Ayub Mayet, Shahzaadee Karodia, Corvin Brady, Wian Joubert, Ruby Ngoasheng, Pravesh Vallabh and Kagiso Molete.  In 2009, following the Israeli attacks on Gaza, an untitled song was written with only what was thought of as a verse. The song lay incomplete for three years until after one of the band members read the novel, 'Mornings in Jenin'. The book moved and inspired him and the lyrics were completed within two weeks. The song is titled, "The New Black".  About the song, the Mavrix write: "in South Africa, we experienced power, privelege, discrimination and oppression on the basis of ones race and the colour of your skin. Being white meant being privileged; being black was a reality of oppression, exploitation and brutality. We expressed our political circumstances through colour. The experience of Palestinians is one of institutionalised racism reminiscent of the worst of Apartheid. Their daily experience is of oppression and humiliation. Therefore the title 'The New Black'".

NOVEMBER 2011 WEDNESDAY SESSION:
30 November - Bumper Sesssion!
We are going to end off the year with a really awesome Wednesday Session! This month's Wednesday Session features FIVE exciting components: we'll host an international film-maker (Lia Tarachansky), have a discussion with the author of "Africa's Little Israel", provide a report-back on the recent Russell Tribunal and play with some palindromes. Oh, and we have a surprise component!

>> Hosting International Filmmaker (Lia Tarachansky)
A visiting Canadian-Israeli filmmaker, Lia Tarachansky will showcase footage from her upcoming documentary, Seven Deadly Myths (click here for the trailer). Tarachansky has a fascinating story, she was born in the Soviet Union but grew up in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, in the controversial Israeli settlement colony of Ariel. She writes: "At the time, I was unaware of the political implications of such a move, but many years later I was able to see how our settlement there was part of an ongoing expansionist project by the government of Israel, which daily annexes Palestinian land."

>> Discussion with the Author (Africa's Little Israel)
Dr Arianna Lissoni, a researcher at Wits University, will discuss her new and explosive journal article, "Africa's Little Israel: Bophuthatswana's Not-So-Secret Ties With Israel". Since its inception in the early 1970s, the secret military and nuclear alliance between the Israeli regime and apartheid South Africa has been the subject of much debate. The Israeli–South Africa military alliance was kept in the dark or remained ‘unspoken’, however there is another relationship between Israel and Apartheid South Africa which was very public in its day - the one between Israel and the Bophuthatswana bantustan during the 1980s. Click here for Lissoni's article.

>> Report back on Russell Tribunal
A lawyer and two students who attended the Russell Tribunal on Palestine, which took place earlier this month in Cape Town, will provide a short report-back. The recent session of the Russell Tribunal looked into whether "Israeli policies are in breach of the prohibition on Apartheid under International Law". The tribunal, after hearing testimony from several experts and witnesses, found that Israel does indeed practice and is guilty of the crime of apartheid. Our in-house law expert will chat to us about what these findings mean and what are some of the expected steps that are now going to be taken to hold Israel accountable. Also, the students are putting together a presentation with video footage and photos from their trip to Cape Town. Should be good.

>> Playing with Palindromes
We've been challenged. A local businessperson has committed to make a substantial donation to the group if we are able to come up with a palindrome on the topic of Palestine and resistance to Israeli Apartheid. What's a palindrome? Click here for a short YouTube clip.

>> Interactive "Surprise" Component
Well, if we told you what this component is it wouldn't be a surprise anymore... you'll have to attend but we assure you, it'll get you up and going! Click here to find out what the surprise component is. 


OCTOBER 2011 WEDNESDAY SESSION:
26 October - Poetry Reading and Video-Making
This month's Wednesday Session will feature two exciting components:
>> Poetry Reading
We'll kick-off by showcasing some resistance poetry. While we've selected some poems we would also encourage you to send through your suggestions or to bring along a poem (this can either be your own or one written by someone else). A section from one of our selected poems appears below and others will be uploaded here.
>> Video making
All those attending can contribute short (shout-out) videos messages that will be sent to the several hundred international guests who will be attending the upcoming session of the Russell Tribunal on Palestine. Technical people will be on hand so we can immediately transfer these messages to YouTube and elsewhere - in time for the Russell Tribunal! (As you may know, the third session of the Russell Tribunal on Palestine will take place in Cape Town between the 5th and 7th of November. It will be opened by our very own Archbishop Desmond Tutu; other participants and guests include Alice Walker, St├ęphane Hessel, John Dugard, Ahmed Kathrada, Winnie Mandela, Zwelinzima Vavi and others. The tribunal will look into whether "Israeli policies are in breach of the prohibition on Apartheid under International Law". For more info on the tribunal, see www.russelltribunalonpalestine.com or www.youtube.com/watch?v=wpN0GEvl-vk)


SEPTEMBER 2011 WEDNESDAY SESSION:
28 September - Book Review and Graffiti Stenciling
This month's Wednesday Session featured two exciting components:
>> Book Review
We kicked-off with a book review of Mark Thomas's "Extreme Ramblings". Here are the first few pages to get you going: click here to download an excerpt from the book.

>> Stencil-making
We, together with you, will be making graffiti stencils. Similar to the stencils that the legend Banksy makes (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Banksy).


AUGUST 2011 WEDNESDAY SESSION:
>>  31 August, Live performances: "Satire Me!"
Here we will host a string of live performances featuring standup comedy, music acts, performance skits and more. Some of the performances will be political in nature or cover important political issues -  all of the performances use satire!


>> 24 August, Media Presentation: "Political Satire in Cartoons and Videos"
This week we will showcase a recent collection of cartoons and videos that use satire to get across a political message.


JULY 2011 WEDNESDAY SESSION:
>>  27 July, YouTube Diaries: "Cultural activism from around the globe"
A collection of new and not so new YouTube clips of cultural activism from various countries will be showcased. The plan is to screen these short clips, discuss and dissect them and then perhaps do our own stuff....

>> 20 July, Film Screening: "Slingshot Hip Hop"
First the plan is to introduce the SA Artists Against Apartheid collective and tell you a bit about ourselves. Then the idea is to screen the movie, "Slingshot Hip Hop". Slingshot Hip Hop braids together the stories of young Palestinians living in Gaza, the West Bank and inside Israel as they discover Hip Hop and employ it as a tool to surmount divisions imposed by occupation and poverty. From internal checkpoints and Separation Walls to gender norms and generational differences, this is the story of young people crossing the borders that separate them. Checkout the official trailer here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=gAhcuLGU6h0