PRESS RELEASE (Details of photo call below - 23 December 2013)
REPLICA OF WALL SURROUNDING BETHLEHEM TO BE UNVEILED IN LONDON
Standing amidst the Christmas trees and fairy lights in London, “Wall” will offer members of the public the chance to see beyond the festive stereotype of Bethlehem and learn about the reality of life for those living today behind the Wall.
The installation has been created by award-winning writer and director Justin Butcher, who travelled to Bethlehem in 2012 to see first-hand the conditions the local community live in. Justin has enlisted an award-winning team of architects, builders and designers, with members of the public invited to share their experiences when they visit “Wall” by contributing prayers, messages of hope and pictures drawn on the installation.
“Wall” is part of Bethlehem Unwrapped, a festival of music, poetry, film, comedy, food and panel discussions taking place from 23 December – 5 January. Featured artists are renowned musician and composer Nigel Kennedy, chefs Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi, singer Reem Kelani, comedians Mark Steel, Jeremy Hardy, Ivor Dembina, Dave Cohen and Andy Zaltzman, writer and speaker Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, film-maker and Bethlehem resident Leila Sansour, ICAHD founder Jeff Halper, performance poets Rafeef Ziadah, Dizraeli and Harry Baker. In a key festival event, the reasons for the construction of the Barrier and its effects will be discussed by a panel, including representatives from the Israeli embassy and the British Israel Communications and Research Centre.
The Festival has been curated by Justin Butcher as a response to the Kairos Palestine document issued by the united Churches of the Holy Land, and is inspired by the cultural movement in Bethlehem described as ‘Beautiful Resistance’, whereby Palestinians express their determination peacefully and creatively to resist injustice. All net proceeds of Bethlehem Unwrapped will go to support the work of the Holy Land Trust in Bethlehem who run a range of visionary projects to promote peace, justice and reconciliation, including training in techniques of non-violent resistance, olive harvesting trips for volunteers, alternative tours of the Holy Land, home rebuilding projects and a wide range of educational and leadership training projects.
Justin Butcher said: “I visited Bethlehem for the first time last year with a group of artists from the UK and we came away profoundly inspired by the extraordinary peace-makers we met on both sides of the divide. Beneath the radar of most international media, an astonishing hope is springing up in many places, even in the bleak shadow of the Wall.
“I hope that Bethlehem Unwrapped will not only evoke a sense of how life might feel, surrounded by an 8m high concrete wall, but also invite our audiences to ‘unwrap the Wall’ – and experience some of the amazing hope of the people of Bethlehem this Christmas.”
“Wall” will be unveiled at the launch event for Bethlehem Unwrapped at 6pm on Monday 23 December at St James’s Piccadilly. The evening will include a broadcast message from Holy Land Trust director Sami Award in Bethlehem and the opening of children’s art exhibition, ‘All They Draw is the Wall’.
For further information on Bethlehem Unwrapped and “Wall”, please visit www.bethlehem-unwrapped.org @bethlehemfest
Bethlehem Unwrapped on Facebook
Event: Bethlehem Unwrapped launch event and unveiling of “Wall” art installation, a true-size replica of the Separation Wall that surrounds Bethlehem
Monday 23 December 2013
Construction of “Wall” art installation from 11am
4pm photocall with attendees incl. interview opportunities
6pm formal launch
St James’s, 197 Piccadilly London W1J 9LL
Justin Butcher (curator of Bethlehem Unwrapped), Lucy Winkett (Rector of St James’s Church Piccadilly), Nobel Peace Prize nominee Jeff Halper (co-founder, Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions),
Nigel Kennedy. Confirmation of attendance required. Contact: Will Wood, 07817014515, email@example.com
NOTES TO EDITORS
Bethlehem Unwrapped is presented by St James’s Church Piccadilly in association with Amos Trust, Holy Land Trust, Interpal, Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD) UK, Jews for Justice for Palestinians, P21 Gallery, Tipping Point North South, War on Want & Zaytoun
Press contact Will Wood 07817014515 / firstname.lastname@example.org
For further information on Bethlehem Unwrapped and “Wall” see the Bethlehem Unwrapped site
Bethlehem Unwrapped on Facebook
Through music, food, art, poetry, debate and more Bethlehem Unwrapped goes behind the romanticised Christmas card images of the ancient city to show what
life is like for people in Bethlehem today.
The festival celebrates the culture
and stories of those living behind the wall and their work for peace. Hope,
humour and humanity are reflected throughout the programme, which brings together renowned musician and composer Nigel Kennedy, chefs Yotam Ottolenghi & Sami Tamimi, singer Reem Kelani, comedians Mark Steel and Jeremy Hardy, activist and speaker Jeff Halper, actor Adjoa Andoh, film-maker Leila Sansour, video artist Larissa Sansour, writer and speaker Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, slam poets Harry Baker and Rafeef Ziadah and more.