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Double Exposure: Art and Activism

Tuesday, May 2, 2017 @ 7:00 pm - 9:30 pm

A Beit Zatoun Salon presentation

Double Exposure: Art and Activism

Venue:  A Different Booklist Cultural Centre, 777 Bathurst St. (south of Bloor)

The co-editors of the recent groundbreaking anthology Double Exposure: Plays of the Jewish and Palestinian Diasporas, will talk about their journey putting together this volume of seven plays that tackle the Palestine-Israel conflict. Written by Jewish and Palestinian playwrights in diaspora it offers perspectives that turn the political into the personal.  The evening will include readings from their plays Tales of a City by the Sea by Samah Sabawi and Sperm Count by Stephen Orlov followed by a conversation about the role and power of art in activism and then open to Q&A.

About the playwrights
Samah Sabawi  is an award winning poet and playwright. Her critically acclaimed play Tales Of A City By The Sea won two major Drama Victoria awards for Best Publication and Best Production in 2016 and won a nomination for the prestigious Green Room Awards for best Independent Theatre production in 2017.   Before leaving Canada for Australia in 2010, Samah Sabawi was regularly featured in the Canadian mediascape with regular guest appearances on TVO’s The Agenda and as a political analyst on CTV News.  Her poetry anthology  I Remember My Name , won the 2016  Palestine Book Awards .  Samah Sabawi is co-editor of Double Exposure: Plays of the Jewish and Palestinian Diasporas (Playwrights Canada Press 2016).  She is policy advisor for the Palestine policy network Al-Shabaka and a former director of the National Council on Canada Arab Relations.  Samah Sabawi is winner of the Australian Muslim Achievement Awards for Creative Artist of the year, and was recently named Cultural Ambassador  for the Melbourne Theatre Company and Multicultural Arts Victoria.  Samah Sabawi is a PhD candidate at Victoria University in Australia.

Stephen Orlov is an American-Canadian award-winning dramatist, whose plays have been showcased in such theatre centres as Chicago, London and Montreal, where he resides.  He co-edited with Samah Sabawi, Double Exposure: Plays of the Jewish and Palestinian Diasporas, the first English-language anthology worldwide in any genre of drama, prose or poetry by Jewish and Palestinian writers. His plays include, Freeze, recently published by Guernica Editions, Isolated  Incident, Bow Ties and his diaspora trilogy of Salaam-Shalom, Sperm Count and Birthmark. A past chairperson of the department of Humanities, Philosophy and Religion at John Abbott College, Stephen now leads master classes on play-writing and script-adaptation, most recently for the Playwrights Guild, the National Arts Festival of Saint Lucia, the Osher Institute at Dartmouth College and Québec Drama Federation. He recently served several terms on the Executive of Playwrights Guild of Canada and Playwrights Canada Press.

About the anthology
The volume of seven plays—three by Jewish playwrights, three by Palestinian playwrights, and a collaboration by both—tackles one of the remaining thematic taboos for many theatres in the Western world. Varying in genre between drama and comedy, in aesthetic between realism and surrealism, in setting between the Diasporas and Israel/Palestine, and in the political opinions of their characters, Double Exposure offers distinct Diaspora perspectives that turn the political into the personal. 

This unique anthology about the Israel-Palestine conflict includes three plays written by Jewish playwrights, three by Palestinian playwrights, and one by both, along with interviews with the playwrights exploring the inspirations and challenges they experienced both in writing and staging their work. The plays are penned by highly acclaimed dramatists now residing in the diaspora of five continents: Bitterenders by Hannah Khalil in Ireland; Facts by Arthur Milner in Gatineau, Québec; The Peace Maker by Natasha Greenblatt in Toronto; Sabra Falling by Ismail Khalidi in Chile; Sperm Count by Stephen Orlov in Montreal; Tales of a City by the Sea by Samah Sabawi in Australia; and Twenty-One Positions: A Cartographic Dream of the Middle East by Abdelfattah AbuSrour in Aida Refugee Camp, Bethlehem, Palestine, Lisa Schlesinger in America, and Naomi Wallace in England; with introductions and interviews by award-winning American playwrights, Karen Hartman and Betty Shamieh. For bios

About Beit Zatoun Salon
Beit Zatoun Salon is a occasional continuation of the legacy of Beit Zatoun outside its beloved home.  Following an astounding record of 7 years and 1000 events of art, culture and activism, Beit Zatoun Salon aims to recreate those challenging and engaging events using the concept of “salon” which in its time tended to be for exclusive or closed circles.  In true Beit Zatoun style this is modified to a “public salon” for open community to meet, inquire and explore together.


Need to know:
– Doors open at 6:50
– $5 donation (suggested minimum)
– Accessible on demand via portable ramp; washrooms not accessible
– Please avoid using strong-scented products due to sensitivities

Tasty refreshments (non-alcoholic) with Zatoun oliveoil+za’atar dipping.