Since December 2011, The Freedom Theatre‘s Freedom Bus has engaged thousands of Palestinians and people from abroad in cultural actions that address Israel’s practice of settler colonialism, military occupation and structural apartheid.
Freedom Bus events occur in villages, towns, refugee camps and Bedouin communities throughout the occupied West Bank. We partner with village cooperatives, popular struggle committees and grassroots organizations to hold multi-day “solidarity stays” and “freedom rides”. These events involve community visits, interactive seminars, guided walks, Hakawati (traditional storytelling), Zajaal poetry and live music.
A central feature of Freedom Bus events is the use of Playback Theatre. Through this method, a troupe of Palestinian actors and musicians invite stories from the audience and subsequently transform each account into a piece of improvised theatre. In the Palestinian context, Playback Theatre has found greatest utility in its application for collective trauma response and grassroots political advocacy.
In communities subjected to home demolitions and settler violence, we also engage in building construction, monitoring, reporting and protective presence activity.
Endorsers of the Freedom Bus include Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Alice Walker, Angela Davis, John Berger, Judith Butler, Luisa Morgantini, Maya Angelou, Mairead Maguire, Mazin Qumsiyeh, Noam Chomsky, Omar Barghouti and Peter Brook. The Freedom Bus is also endorsed by the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee (BNC) and the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI). A range of other Palestinian and international artists, activists, academics and organisations have also endorsed the Freedom Bus.